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Wireless Sheds the Wires -- Barron's

30 Dec 2017 11:00 am

Someone heard Martha Stewart's plea. Some years ago, the doyenne of domesticity stood up at a tech conference and showed off the tangle of computer plugs and cables she had to carry, begging someone among the digerati to please do something about the mess. The tech world has since come up with wireless charging pads, including one for Apple's iPhone X, but a small Silicon Valley company is taking it a step further.

Energous (ticker: WATT) saw its shares soar 168% on Wednesday, after announcing the night before that it had received Federal Communications Commission approval for what it calls wireless power.

In this scheme, energy can be transmitted to a phone, smartwatch, or other gadget through radio-frequency emissions, from up to three feet away. The device doesn't have to be placed on a charging mat, like the iPhone; it need only be near a transceiver.

Energous hopes to deliver up to five watts of power, less than the 7.5 watts the typical mat produces. But the company is betting that the slower speed will be OK if having the transceiver nearby allows you to constantly "top up" your device, rather than restoring it from a depleted state.

After years of promises and delays, the onus is now on Energous to deliver products. The next stop for the company will be the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The company has told Barron's that down the road it expects to expand the device's charging range to 15 ft. If Energous can do that, Martha may finally be set free.

-- Tiernan Ray

Next Week

Monday 1

New Year's Day. Financial markets in the U.S. and many other countries are closed, among them Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, and Japan.

Canada takes over the G-7 presidency. Gender equality and women's empowerment, climate change, and economic growth will be among the themes guiding the presidency, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Tuesday 2

Central Bank of Chile publishes minutes from its December policy meeting.

Markets are closed for a second day in Japan, Russia, and Switzerland in observance of New Year's Day.

The Daiwa P.U.R.E. Energy Conference begins in Hong Kong. The four-day meeting will feature several companies from the natural-gas distribution, water, and environmental and renewable-energy segments.

Italy, Germany, and France release their manufacturing index figures for December.

Wednesday 3

Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes from its December policy meeting.

Ford Motor announces its U.S. sales results for December 2017.

UniFirst, Commercial Metals, and Rite Aid release latest quarterly earnings.

The U.S. Senate reconvenes. High on the agenda: a spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

The 10th annual Goldman Sachs Healthcare CEOs Unscripted Conference is held in Boston.

December U.S. light-vehicles sales figures are expected to show just a slight increase from November's reading of 17.4 million units, at a seasonally adjusted annual rate.

November construction spending data are released. Forecast calls for a 0.7% rise, down from October's 1.4%.

Wolfe Research hosts an oil-and-gas refiners conference.

The ISM manufacturing index for December is reported.

Thursday 4

Sonic, America's largest drive-in-restaurant chain announces results, as do Walgreens Boots Alliance and Monsanto.

December job cuts are announced, as tallied by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard gives the keynote address at a seminar commemorating the contributions of Allan Meltzer to academics and public policy.

Friday 5

The December employment report is released. Consensus calls for a 190,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls.

November's export/import numbers will be released by the Commerce Department. Forecast calls for the deficit to widen to about $49.5 billion from an October gap of $48.7 billion, says MFR.

Philadelphia Fed president gives speech on the economy and monetary policy at the American Economic Association's annual meeting.

November factory orders are reported.

Cal-Maine Foods, Constellation Brands, and Greenbrier report earnings.

Week's Highlight

Wednesday 3: The U.S. Senate reconvenes. High on the agenda: a spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

Edited by Robert Teitelman and Teresa Vozzo

Email: editors@barrons.com
 

To subscribe to Barron's, visit http://www.barrons.com/subscribe

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 30, 2017 06:00 ET (11:00 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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