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uBeam is one of tech's most intriguing startups, promising to someday charge your wireless devices through the air (or, to be more technical, ultrasonic waves). It's also controversial, with some having publicly suggested that uBeam's technology defies the laws of physics.

So there was a lot of anticipation yesterday when company founder and CEO Meredith Perry appeared at the Upfront Summit in Los Angeles, for the first-ever demo of uBeam's technology.

The demo: Perry first stood a couple of yards from a large white box emitting ultrasound waves, and used a device that glowed red when it was in the waves' path. She then grabbed an Android smartphone in a large and bulky black case, and held it up in that path. When she did so, a large battery charge counter on the screen showed that it was indeed charging.

The product: Perry says that the ultimate phone case will be much sleeker than what she showed, while a mock-up of the transmitter kind of looks like a very small satellite dish designed by Apple or Nest. There was no timeline for commercialization.

There are videos of the demo floating around Twitter for those interested (it was supposed to be off the record, but social media ultimately made that untenable). Axios was unable to visit uBeam's Santa Monica headquarters following the conference due to the company's schedule.

Next: While it appears the basic science of uBeam's plan does check out, there still remain questions. For one, the company has yet to squeeze its technology into the beautiful disc-shaped device that it plans to sell consumers. Nor the quasi-ceiling panels it would sell to commercial customers like coffee shops. Perry said that the company has recently shrunken its tech into coin-sized chips, a first step in the process.

We also don't know the ultimate distance at which consumers would be able to charge devices, the strength of charge or if there are limitations on type of device (we're told Perry picked that particular Android for the demo because of its highly-visible charging icon).

In short: This is a science project that is clearly progressing, but not nearly finished yet.

Go deeper

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.

The consumer's massive "war chest"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Economists expect the pace of economic growth to cool off now that government transfer payments like stimulus checks and emergency unemployment benefits are in the rearview mirror. But evidence suggests that the U.S. consumer is sitting on a lot of financial firepower that could be a key driver of growth in the quarters to come.

Why it matters: U.S. consumer spending is massive, representing about 70% of GDP.

The Fed takes on its own rules amid stock trading controversy

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New disclosures that showed Fed officials were active in financial markets set off a firestorm of criticism. Now the Fed may overhaul the long-standing rules that allow those transactions.

Why it matters: What officials actively traded was sensitive to the Fed decisions they helped shape, including the unprecedented support that underpinned a massive financial market boom.