Bunkum, I say. Each time the story gets repeated, it loses a little more veracity. So I aimed my Computerworld curation cannon at this.
Researchers have improved the ability to capture power from radio waves. By tweaking some standard Wi-Fi hardware, they've increased the amount of power that can be leeched from unused transmissions. It could help power IoT sensors.
But wait — don't believe everything you read on the interwebs, kids. Predictably, some science-illiterate journalists and bloggers are saying it can actually charge your smartphone. Sadly, the researchers only achieved power levels of a few microWatts — that's about 100,000 times too small to run your phone, let alone charge it.