Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Power to the people, wirelessly!

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A good thing worth waiting for would be wireless power. As reported in ThinkGeek these devices transmit power over microwave frequencies and there is no need for any connecting wires between the base and satellite units. A word of caution though - you may accidentally burn that instruction manual if you leave it between the two units! (Image source: ThinkGeek.com)

Another attempt at wireless power transmission - pioneered at MIT, WiTricity may pave the way for transmitting energy (as against information) wirelessly. This article on Sci-Tech Today explains the concept behind MIT physics professor Marin Soljacic's (pronounced Soul-ya-cheech) brainchild. Electrical resonance has successfully been used to transmit power over short distances. Unlike microwaves, these radiation will only affect objects that are at the same resonance frequency - leaving the rest of your house intact. As reported at Sci-Tech Today, the team have successfully been able to transmit power to a 60 Watt bulb from a distance of 7 feet.

A third way of transmitting energy wirelessly? A team of Japanese researchers has created an 'energy mat' which can be placed anywhere - desks, floors, walls and delivers power to appliances placed on or near it. This paper describes the process in detail, along with photographs.

Soon we will be charging some of our favorite appliances wirelessly. As reported at Hrmpf, with Apple applying for a patent in February this year for its 'non-contact charger', we can be sure other companies will follow suit and it won't be long before the ubiquitous wire is forgotten.

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