ClearOne has been awarded a new patent relating to power transmission for Power over Ethernet (PoE) systems by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent describes a simple method for providing power to multiple devices in a “daisy-chain” series connection using PoE. Use of the new method can eliminate the 100-meter Ethernet distance constraint for power and data transmission.
The technology benefits two applications in particular. First, it is useful for devices such as audio products including microphones and speakers, security and conferencing cameras, remote sensors, smart home technologies like thermostats and alarm systems, as well as computers and displays, all of which can be freely deployed anywhere within the reach of an Ethernet cable.
As an example of this application, ClearOne uses the patented technology in its professional audio products, including its beamforming microphone array ceiling tiles. This allows CONVERGE Pro 2 DSP mixers to communicate with its beamforming microphone arrays at distances that greatly exceed traditional distance limitations for conferencing equipment.
Second, it is also useful for transmitting power only, without data, where access to electrical power outlets may be inconvenient or power outlet safety is a concern. For example, mobile device chargers, lighting, and other battery-powered personal devices, and even toys can utilize this technology throughout the work or home environment because the patented method supplies power whether data is present or not.
An important added benefit of this application is the elimination of redundant electrical wiring and outlets to distribute power by using existing and common Ethernet cabling.
ClearOne’s patent enables a first PoE-powered device to forward a portion of the available power to the next PoE-powered device in the chain. ClearOne is pursuing additional technological advancements and intellectual property in this area.