Wireless electricity at home
In a couple of year, the cord spaghetti behind the TV set at home might be a thing of the past.
Wireless electricity transfer could make cords that travel around homes and offices obsolete. In the future one can be able to power all small electricity appliances such as cell phones, game controllers, laptop computers or TV’s without ever plugging them in.
Wireless electricity means transforming electricity through air without an electric wire. There are various methods of transferring power wirelessly. Perhaps best known is electromagnetic radiation, such as radio waves. While such radiation is excellent for wireless transmission of information, it is not that feasible for power transmission. Since radiation spreads in all directions, a vast majority of power would end up being wasted into free space.
The solution for this problem is to use coupled resonant objects. Researches at MIT have been studying the possibility of using magnetic coupling as a tool to transform energy from one place to another. Magnetic coupling is particularly suitable for everyday applications because most common materials interact only very weakly with magnetic fields, so interactions with extraneous environmental objects are very small. This is important for safety considerations.
The first wireless TV sets are already on the market but the big mushrooming of the technology is still a few years away.
MIT News June 7, 2007: “Goodbye wires!” http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/wireless-0607.html
Opportunity: Small electronic devices are never out of power, tidy apartments
Threat: Possible health issues, possibly incereased electricity consumption