A cordless future for electricity?
September 2nd, 2009
" Electronics such as phones and laptops may start shedding their power cords within a year.
That's the prediction of Eric Giler, CEO of WiTricity, a company that's able to power light bulbs using wireless electricity that travels several feet from a power socket.
WiTricity's version of wireless electricity -- which converts power into a magnetic field and sends it sailing through the air at a particular frequency -- still needs to be refined a bit, he said, but should be commercially available soon.
Giler, whose company is a spinoff of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research group, says wireless electricity has the potential to cut the need for power cords and throw-away batteries.
"Five years for now, this will seem completely normal," he said.
"The biggest effect of wireless power is attacking that huge energy wasting that goes on where people buy disposable batteries," he said.
It also will make electric cars more attractive to consumers, he said, because they will be able to power up their vehicles simply by driving into a garage that's fitted with a wireless power mat.
Electric cars are "absolutely gorgeous," he added, "but does anyone really want to plug them in?"
Ideas about wireless electricity have been floating around the world of technology for more than a century. Nikola Tesla started toying with the ability to send electricity through the air in the 1890s. Since then, though, making wireless electricity technology safe and cheap enough to put on the market has been an arduous task for researchers.
Engineers have developed several ways to convert electricity into something that's safe to send through the air without a wire. Some of their technologies are available on commercial scales, but they have some limits. "
Source: A cordless future for electricity? Homepage: CNN