Handy Run-Down of Wireless Charging Technology (Video)
Imagine no wires, no plugs, no batteries in gadgets and small appliances, and they charge up cheaper than current costs. Wireless charging technology is a big interest for greenies because it cuts out a lot of the physical components of devices, including those using precious metals or toxic materials. Eric Giler, chief executive of US firm Witricity, showed mobile phones and televisions charging wirelessly at the TED Global conference in Oxford, and he explains charging to BBC viewers. Check out the video below the fold.
As the BBC article notes:
The system is based on work by physicist Marin Soljacic at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It exploits "resonance", whereby energy transfer is markedly more efficient when a certain frequency is applied. When two objects have the same resonant frequency, they exchange energy strongly without having an effect on other, surrounding objects. For example, it is resonance that can cause a wine glass to explode when a singer hits exactly the right tone. But instead of using acoustic resonance, Witricity's approach exploits the resonance of low frequency electromagnetic waves.
Intel showed off wireless charging systems last year at IDF, and demoed RF charging earlier this year. It looks like, thanks to research coming from a few different angles, we're inching closer to seeing this as a reality. But efficiency levels still aren't great and actual use of the technology is a ways off. But, imagine the day when the frustration of a different charger for every device - or even dealing with batteries for gadgets - is no longer an issue. Pretty cool!
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