In the 2010 version of the Atos Origin LookOut website and booklet, I submitted an exciting technology for the section on “Enabling Information Technologies”. The technology I highlighted was “wireless power” and below is the text I wrote for LookOut:
“The wireless power concept enables us to transmit power to devices without the use of electric cords or batteries, with the possibility to charge batteries by replacing the wire by using induction. Wireless power will be a lifestyle changing technology like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and not having to factor in heavy batteries, will also impact industrial design and portability of devices that need electricity and will have a profound impact on the environment, eradicating much of today’s pollution by heavy metals.”
- The wireless power concept ultimately enables us to transmit power to devices without the use of electric cords or batteries.
- Up until 2008, the focus has been on creating better batteries and in 2009 we have seen possibilities to charge batteries by replacing the wire by using induction — something we have already seen in electric toothbrushes. Induction allows for transmission over short distances.
- In 5–10 years we will be able to transmit power over much larger distances.
Application and Benefits
- It applies to all devices we use in our daily life that need to be moved around, from vacuum cleaners to mobile phones.
- Getting rid of batteries will have a profound impact on the environment, eradicating much of today’s pollution by heavy metals.
- Not having to factor in heavy batteries will also impact industrial design and portability of devices that need electricity
- As soon as wireless power replaces traditional wiring systems we will no longer need all sorts of cabling, which in itself will save millions in infrastructure, and trillions in raw materials such as copper and wire insulation.
- Finally, because devices now truly become mobile, it will allow all people — whether they are located in the developed countries or anywhere else — access all types of information and applications for communications, education and collaboration.
I predicted widespread usage for 2014 and an happy to see that steps are being taken to standardize the delivery and application; On July 23, 2010, The Qi consortium announced the general availability of the low power interface specification (download here).
This document is one part of a three part specification; The other documents (performance compliance and compliance testing are only available for Qi members). Members include an array of impressive names among which are Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Energizer, Duracell, Samsung, and Philips.
Today I am seeing the adoption of this by the mobile industry, but if you have a look at the video’s you will also see different other usage models. I especially like the idea of having inductive coils integrated in the furniture.
Engadget has an additional story here and here on the usage for mobile devices. It will come as no surprise MIT has been working on it already and now seems to be doing some groundbreaking stuff by increasing the efficiency through the coupling of devices.
Oh, and some of you may argue that all of this was already invented by a guy named Nikola Tesla; you may decide that for yourself and study his patent submission here.
Two videos form CES 2010: