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Apple buys PowerbyProxi

Paul Brislen, Editor. 25 October 2017, 9:02 am

Wireless charging is coming soon to an Apple device near you in no small part thanks to a Kiwi start-up that spun out of research at the University of Auckland.

Fady Mishriki set up PowerbyProxi in 2007 after researching how best to transmit electricity without using wires. His initial business plan was to develop the capability for use in industrial applications, transmitting power from a rotating object, like a wind turbine, to a stationary object, like a battery.

But it's in the consumer space that PowerbyProxi will really hit its straps and as news breaks that Apple has bought the company, the future for wireless charging looks bright indeed.

PowerbyProxi has grown tremendously over the past decade, from a research project to a company holding dozens of patents in the area of wireless charging. As thought leader in this new and burgeoning segment, PowerbyProxi has helped define and develop consumer-level wireless charging and this purchase by Apple looks likely to provide the catalyst needed to kickstart the wireless charging phenomenon.

It's not all been plain sailing for the company. In 2014 plans to float the company fell through but after a period of consolidation the company began to grow again. Today's announcement, albeit one that is light on details and doesn't include any indication of value, is sure to leave some investors feeling somewhat chagrined.

For consumers it means the future of charging is less likely to be plugs and sockets and more likely to be built around charging plates that are built in to items like desktops, sofas, car dashboards and more. Instead of planning to charge a phone, tablet or laptop (or indeed, toothbrush or any device that takes batteries), the user will simply put the product down and the charging will begin.

Apple introduced wireless charging capability at its recent iPhone launch in the US under the brand name AirPower. Due for release next year, we now know who will be building it.


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