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Brief Published: 14 May 2015

TechCrunch Disrupt 2015: Superchargers


Technology news site TechCrunch introduced a host of tech start-ups to potential investors and the world's media at the New York edition of its Disrupt event last week. Stylus highlights three companies set to change the way we charge our devices, plus the winner of this year's Start-up Battlefield competition.

  • Speed Charging: Massachusetts-based Nucleus Scientific's battery-charging technology can charge an iPhone 6 in under five minutes, the company claims. The company is aiming to enable electric cars to be fully recharged in the amount of time it takes to pump a tank of fuel.
  • Ultrasound Power: California-based start-up uBeam will soon offer "Wi-Fi for energy" by making commercially available the ability to wirelessly charge portable electronics such as laptops, cameras and phones, using ultrasound. The solution is ideal for public places where wall sockets are scarce. UBeam is entering its next round of funding and is said be in talks with US coffee chain Starbucks and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the global hospitality giant.

  • Harvesting Wi-Fi: Ohio-based start-up Nikola Labs has created an iPhone case that "downloads power from the air" by converting radio frequency signals such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth into direct current power via its antenna. The case is due to launch on crowdfunding website Kickstarter in the coming months.

  • Filter Bottle: Microbe-contaminated water is the largest health problem in the world. San Francisco-based filtration company Liquidity, the winner of this year's Start-up Battlefield competition, has responded by launching Naked Filter, its first consumer product – a water bottle that allows people to drink water safely. A built-in water-filtration membrane removes contaminants, without the need for chemicals, electricity or pressure. Bottles are available to pre-order now and will ship in summer 2015. For more on how clean foods and drinks are achieving top status, see Reframing Rare, part of our New-Era Luxury Macro Trend.