A couple weeks ago, I posted that a small company named PowerMat had created a mat that delivered power wirelessly to small appliances like cell phone, shavers, etc. Because the device and the mat still needed to be in contact, I claimed that this was not true wireless power delivery, and declared myself the winner in a bet between myself and friend who we know as Tim. He had claimed that we would soon have wireless power delivery, while I felt that sending power will-nilly through the air was a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Well today, I came across a few new articles. Ok, I did not come across them, Tim sent them to me after realizing that I had claimed victory. Apparently some researchers at MIT lit a 60-watt light bulb by transferring energy through the air from the power delivery base to a device attached to the bulb. The researchers have dubbed their invention, “WiTricity”.
Essentially they have extended induction’s reach by projecting a magnetic field from a length of coiled wire that has two ends almost touching, which forms a gap. This gap forces electrons to travel back and forth through the coil, creating a magnetic field that oscillates at a specific frequency. The device attached to the light bulb has a similar gap with the exact same frequency, thereby allowing it to “pickup” the energy.
Backing my claim, theoretical physicist Douglas Stone of Yale University commented, “The big showstopper for this, would be if people, entities or devices that are not supposed to absorb the radiation do absorb it.” In layman’s terms, that means if you got in the way of a couple hundred watts, you would feel like you stepped into a microwave oven.
Tim also cited several articles, including Pinpoint microwave resolution could lead to wireless power transfer and a Biography of Nikola Tesla which you can read at your leisure. So what do you think, is Tim right and we will soon have wireless power delivery, or am I right and we should just stick to wires?
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