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Skiin smart underwear gets wireless-charging boost at CES

The sensor-studded skivvies use Energous' WattUp wireless charging, which eventually will work anywhere in a room, not just next to a charger.

Skiin underwear, for women and men, has sensors to monitor things like pulse and breathing rate. It uses Energous wireless technology to charge.


Good news! You won't have to plug in your smart underwear to charge it up.

Myant, which makes the Skiin underwear products for men and women that monitor vital signs like heart rate, breathing rate and temperature, will use Energous wireless charging to power its clothing, the companies said Monday at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. 

Wireless charging is common for phones, but the Energous technology uses a room bathed in radio signals, not the more constrained variety like Qi that require you to set your phone on a charging station.

At least that's the Energous vision. The early version requires close-range placement, but later, the plan is to release longer-range chargers.

New charging technology promises to free our lives of wires, or at least reduce the number of them that clutter our desks and kitchen countertops. That vision has a lot of appeal as computing and network technology extends beyond laptops or phones into many other devices in our homes, cars and workplaces.

Energous' wireless charging technology, called WattUp, isn't powerful enough to charge a laptop, but it'll keep your phone topped up even as you walk around a room, the company says. The Federal Communications Commission certified both WattUp and a rival called PowerCast in December.