Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wireless power

What could be more awesome than the ability to power or recharge all of your electrical devices without relying on cords?

OK, a lot (like faster-than-light space travel), but nothing else is so close to making the leap from science fiction to reality.

TECH 2: Radio-frequency Harvesting
Availability: April

>> THE INDUCTION SYSTEMS are only the beginning. Some of the most visually arresting examples of wireless electricity are based on what's known as radio frequency, or RF. While less efficient, they work across distances of up to 85 feet. In these systems, electricity is transformed into radio waves, which are transmitted across a room, then received by so-called power harvesters and translated back into low-voltage direct current. Imagine smoke detectors or clocks that never need their batteries replaced. Sound trivial? Consider: Last November, to save on labor costs, General Motors canceled the regularly scheduled battery replacement in the 562 wall clocks at its Milford Proving Ground headquarters. This technology is already being used by the Department of Defense. This year, it will be available to consumers in the form of a few small appliances and wireless sensors; down the road, it will appear in wireless boxes into which you can toss any and all of your electronics for recharging.

(Hat tip to Blogonomicon.)

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