Widespread Wireless Electricity Within A Year?
Imagine a world where you can hang your flat screen without having to worry about cords hanging down or you could walk into your home and your laptop and cellphone begin to automatically charge. That’s the wireless electricity dream—and it may be closer than you think.
According to WiTricity, new cell phones and laptops will begin featuring this technology within the next year and we’ll all forget how we ever lived without it in the next five. In fact, Toyota recently announced it began tests for charging their electric cars wirelessly.
WiTricity, a Boston-based startup, was formed from an idea cultivated at an MIT research group, which essentially converts power into a magnetic field at a particular frequency to provide electricity through the air.
“[…] We’re not actually putting electricity in the air. What we’re doing is putting a magnetic field in the air,” explained Dr. Katy Hall, chief Technology Officer at WiTricity.
Referred to as “resonance” technology, WiTricity expects consumers will eventually view wireless electricity the same way they see Wi-Fi; a ubiquitous system that most can’t fathom how they ever lived without it.
How does it work?
A “source resonator” (a coil of electrical wire that generates a magnetic field when power is attached) will be embedded in an interior wall of your home. When another coil nears the source an electrical charge is generated. The idea is built on a Nikola Tesla’s patent filed in 1900 for a similar system for delivering electricity from one static point, to another.
Way beyond easily charging your phone
Lamps, televisions, game consoles, computers, even electric cars can be charged wirelessly—but the benefits aren’t just convenience. When Hall first encountered wireless electricity she thought of the benefits to medical technology.
“The idea of eliminating cables would allow us to re-design things in ways that we haven’t yet thought of, that’s just going to make our devices and everything that we interact with, that much more efficient, more practical and maybe even give brand new functionality.”
WiTricity is currently also working with medical companies to develop a heart pump able to be recharged, non-intrusively without wires.