Friday, February 6, 2009

Wireless electricity

If you read the title, then you know what the hottest new idea out there is, wireless electricity. I don't know about any of you, but every wireless thing I own has made life easier. This has to be the century of wireless technology. We came in with cordless phones and are planning to eliminate the mess of wires all together. Cordless controllers for gaming systems was a huge hit as well. Cords to different controllers would tangle while you weren't there just to cause you the frustration of trying to untangle all of the cables going to each controller. But, the mess was still there. Countless things we use are still plug into seemly rare electrical outlets around an entertainment system. Who hasn't had a mess of wires in your living room half of which you didn't even know what went where? Can you imagine a place without any wires? A day you don't have to spend looking for the charger you know you left at home?

You can find the article right here. What happens is the electricity is first turned into a concentrated laser beam. It is then shot to a solar panel that converts it back into electricity. They call it "WiTricity" wittily combining wireless and electricity. It can currently generate 1.5 watts of power which is enough to power a speaker or a small LED screen from about ten meters away, but not enough for any high tech stuff. Don't worry, they are still working on perfecting this wonderful piece of technology to make it capable to power entire buildings. This new technology with be shown to the public for the first time at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this spring. 

Wow was my first reaction to reading this article. I know there have been many times I've left my phone cable at home when I've left for vacation. I wouldn't feel bad if someone else had the same charger as me, but you know how those phone companies are. None of them seem to use the same charger. Everytime you get a new phone you have to get a new charger to go with it even if it's from the same company. Wireless electricity technology would eliminate all those problems. It sounds like something from some crazy science fiction movie, but it's real. Sure, solar panels are not the most effective way of utilizing electricity yet. With a little bit of research, I think this could be as common as electricity within the decade. Of course, there is also the idea that the laser may cause a severe raise in temperate since that is how solar panels are powered. This issue has not been addressed by the company yet so I don't know what to really say about it. It would still be worth the increased temperate to use wireless technology, especially in the icy cold of the winter. People are also afraid that electromagnetic waves created by this device will cause cancer, but scientists claim that once a person walks into the beam, it is immediately destroyed. The interference will cause the beam to shut down only to be restarted once you have moved out of the way.

All in all, I think this is the kind of innovation that needs to be presented more often. We always here stories of older people talking what life was like before the Internet, TV, and cars. I believe the idea of plugging all your electronics will become a story just like walking 15 miles to school in the snow uphill both ways; no one is going to believe it.

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