Metaboards is pioneering the commercialisation of metamaterials technology, developing wireless charging for IoT devices. Using a single power source to charge several devices without alignment.
How long has your company been in operation, and what was the inspiration for its founding?
Metaboards was founded in August 2016 as a spin-out from Oxford University’s Department of Engineering Science. Two professors there together with a third from Imperial College had developed and patented a metamaterial-based transmitter capable of delivering power to multiple devices simultaneously. Supported by the Tech Transfer office and local VC champion OxSciences, the company attracted other talented scientists and engineers and set about building a product for the wireless charging world.
What is special about your company’s products / services?
Wireless charging is still an emerging sector, and frankly the results so far have not been exactly transformative. The principal platform for smartphones, ‘Qi’, is far from perfect: it requires that the device and the charging unit are precisely aligned to connect, and it can only charge one device at a time. Meanwhile we are witnessing very rapid growth (20% a year +) in the adoption of wearables, hearables and other low-powered devices, which all need to be recharged by wire. A wireless charging solution is the Next Big Thing, and Metaboards is the first to demonstrate these multiple devices charging wirelessly at the same time, from a single power source.
Where does your company see itself heading in the next ten years?
A mat or pad that can charge a multiplicity of personal devices wire-free is a big step, but by no means our last. Next, we will explore the possibility of incorporating the method into furniture in the home, office, café or waiting area, permitting easier charging on the fly. Beyond that there are specialist areas such as hygienic charging for medical devices or simultaneous charging of a small army of warehouse robots.
Which among your recent announcements is your company most proud of?
The release of our working demonstrator tablet, which can be seen at https://vimeo.com/662995614
What is your company looking for from the CW community? What engagement opportunities can it offer?
For wireless charging to meet its true potential it needs a groundswell of support from all directions: academics and standards-setters, OEMs of mobile and IoT devices, chip makers, product designers and more. We hope to encounter them all in the halls of CW.