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Wireless electricity to soon power cell phones, cars

In a few years, you may never have to worry about manually charging your cell phone or paying for gasoline again.
Wireless electricity isn’t a new concept, it was publicly demonstrated over 100 years ago by Nikola Tesla – but has remained elusive in broad commercial applications.
However, a start-up company says they are working to change that, with a business model that could make portable power commonplace.
“We’re going to transfer power without any kind of wires,” Dr Katie Hall, chief technology officer of WiTricity, told CNN. “I can’t even imagine how things will change when we live like that.” WiTricity CEO Eric Giler demonstrated the company’s technology during a TED talk, in which he explained, “This all came from a professor waking up at night to the third night in a row that his wife’s cell phone was beeping because it was running out of battery power. And he was thinking, ‘With all of the electricity that’s out there in the walls, why couldn’t some of that just come into the phone so I could get some sleep?
A team of MIT professors then developed what they call “resonant power transfer,” in which a power coil is able to wirelessly transfer electricity to another device containing a similar coil set to the same frequency.
The MIT group was first able to demonstrate the technique in 2007, which led to the formation of WiTricity. Since then, the company has conducted several public demonstrations, where they have used the technology to wirelessly power objects such as batteries, LED lights and cell phones. “We’re not actually putting electricity in the air. What we’re doing is putting a magnetic field in the air,” Hall told CNN. “When you bring a device into that magnetic field, it induces a current in the device, and by that you’re able to transfer power.”
Wireless electricity is widely considered to be safe , but WiTricity and other companies developing similar technology are still trying to find effective ways to efficiently transfer electricity over longer distances.
Other companies are developing their own wireless electricity devices as well. For example, in February, Toyota announced it began testing a wireless recharging station for its hybrid cars in which the vehicle would power up by parking over a charging pad on the ground.
Giles says that if the hurdle of transferring electricity over greater physical distances can be crossed, then wireless electricity would quickly replace the world of cables. And after the technology is in place, manufacturers would then have to install the equipment allowing for the wireless electric transfer to take place.
It would not only free up literal space but could potentially reduce pollution, eliminating the need for disposable batteries. It’s estimated that in the US alone hundreds of thousands of disposal batteries are thrown away each year. Giles says that the current 50 percent efficiency of wireless electricity transfer already greatly exceeds the capability of standard commercial batteries. (monitoring Desk)

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Cell phones, game controllers, laptop computers, mobile robots, even electric vehicles capable of re-charging themselves without ever being plugged in. Flat screen TV’s and digital picture frames that hang on the wall—without requiring a wire and plug for power. Industrial systems and medical devices made more reliable by eliminating trouble prone wiring and replaceable batteries. WiTricity Corp. is working to make this future a reality, developing wireless electricity technology that will operate safely and efficiently over distances ranging from centimeters to several meters—and will deliver power ranging from milliwatts to kilowatts.

WiTricity Corp.’s vision is to develop a family of wireless electric power components that will enable OEM’s in a broad range of industries and applications to make their products truly “wireless.” Wireless electric power delivered over room scale distances, and with high efficiency. Wireless electric power that is safe for people and animals. Wireless electric power—imagine no more… it’s here!

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