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Microsoft might be on to something big.

Earlier this week, Microsoft Research announced that they have made a working prototype of a wireless charging device called AutoCharge. It won’t be available on the market just yet, but it looks promising.

Image Credit: golem.de
Image Credit: golem.de

The device in question is a lamp. But not just any lamp: it’s one that houses a camera, light source, rotator and controller — all of which make for a pretty clever charging device.

First, the camera works to detect smartphones that are placed within a room. The rotator then angles the light source such that the light beam shines straight onto your phone. The lamp also uses solar power to charge phones, which means that it will be safer than, say, chargers that are powered by radiation.

Image Credit: venturebeam.com
Image Credit: venturebeam.com

The best part, of course, is that your phone won’t have to be wired up while it’s getting charged, though it’s not clear if you’ll actually be able to use the phone when the AutoCharge is in session (it stops charging your phone if an object gets in between the light source and the phone).

If you’re wondering if the device will be as efficient as traditional charging methods, don’t be: according to VentureBeat, “researchers claim devices are detected “within seconds” and can be charged wirelessly “as fast as existing wired chargers.””

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