Wednesday, 13 June 2007

WiTricity

We live in a wireless world of portable technologies, and yet we are still 'tethered' to the battery chargers that allow us to lead this mobile lifestyle. With limited power from batteries, and the promise of commercially available fuel cells being perpetually 5 years away, a truly wireless society seems far from reality. However, a group at MIT has been working on an alternative source of wireless electricity (WiTricity) that is generated by a non-radiative electromagnetic field oscillating at a very high frequency (MHz). A portable device, such as a laptop or mobile phone, accepts this radiation through a receiver coil that resonates at the same frequency as the emitted magnetic field. Initial experiments demonstrated that 60 Watts of power could be transferred over a distance of 2 meters. Encouraged by these preliminary results, the group at MIT are now investigating ways to increase the projection distances and efficiency while reducing the size of the receiver coils.

4 comments:

Egor Kloos said...

This could deliver very effective solutions for all kinds of worktops. Either in the office for laptops and printers or lets say in the kitchen even. A limited power range from a kitchen worktop could power blenders, scales, fryers, egg timers, kettles and reading divices with e-ink.

ellen said...

Sounds interesting - On a similar topic, I met someone in passing a few years ago who was trying to market solar powered battery chargers for mobile phones, PDAs etc. Since then, one of the mobile phone companies was pushing a solar charger that looked remarkably similar. Go renewable energy!

Alphast said...

I hate to be the eternal pessimistic or cynical one, but isn't there a problem with a 60Hz electromagnetic field? Like erasing all magnetic memories in the surrounding, flashing your credit cards, or anything like that. Well, for the credit card, it wouldn't be a massive change for me, but I am also thinking about you guys... ;-)

Hayley Every said...

In another article, the researchers said that the technology "is safe on humans and other living things. And in the initial experiments on the light bulb, no harm came to the cell phones, electronic equipment and credit cards in the room". However, they qualified this statement by saying that more research was needed to investigate the effects fully.