Sunday, April 1, 2007

Death of the cell phone charger...?

Eep, what a story this is. The story? That for decades researchers have dreamed of the ability to transmit power over long distances. It would remove the need for power lines etc. The dream goes back to the earliest days of the development of Electricity, as Nikolai Tesla himself worked on this idea. I first read of it in Heinlein's novel Farmer in the Sky.

According to the article the bugaboo was accuracy of the power transmission. The power would bounce off everything in sight making the power received at the device come at varying frequencies and power levels. This made it hard to build a reception circuit. Some researchers have focused themselves for a few years on this problem and come up with a small and very inexpensive solution.

The power levels are appropriate for charging a cell phone or similarly low power demand. It offers a way to keep portable electrical gadgets charged with few worries. No more worrying about charging your shaver, wireless keyboard or mouse, etc, because the power will be transmitted to them.

It doesn't say whether the device requires a power transmitter, or whether it will receive power from the ambient electrical noise that's already bombarding us. Modern society has seen fit to create a zillion different electrical transmissions going on all around us, so in a sense we're constantly in a soup of electromagnetic energy already. Perhaps the gadget will just draw its power from that soup?

Article Reference: 

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