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Wireless electricity could power future homes for truly cordless living

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Start-up company WiTricity is developing a way to transmit electricity through the air with the use of a magnetic field. Imagine a world without wires, where energy transfers to electronics for truly cordless living. Wireless electricity would navigate straight to devices like a wireless internet connection.

As CNN reports (March 14), wire-free magnetic fields are exactly how Wi-Fi routers function so wireless electric power would be safe for humans and animals. Over-the-air power driven future homes would auto charge up smartphones, tablets, and electric cars with absolutely no cords.

"We're going to transfer power without any kind of wires," chief technology officer at WiTricity, Dr. Katie Hall told CNN, discussing “resonance” technology. WiTricity is currently perfecting its specially designed resonators to efficiently transfer power over long distances over the magnetic near-field.

Truly cordless freedom means that living room lamps, computers, televisions and game consoles would power up without the need to be plugged into wall outlets. People would no longer have to figure out clever ways to hide the wires on their home entertainment system setup. “Wireless electric power—imagine no more… it’s here!,” says WiTricity on its company site.

"The idea of eliminating cables would allow us to redesign things in ways that we haven't yet thought of, that's just going to make our devices and everything that we interact with, that much more efficient, more practical and maybe even give brand new functionality," said Hall.

WiTricity’s goal is to rid the future of replaceable batteries as well as cords. A future in wireless electricity technology could help to make medical devices and industrial systems more reliable.

The team of physicists out of MIT behind WiTricity was led by Professor Marin Soljacic and developed the new theory for power transfer in 2005. The results of their findings were published in the journal, Science on July 6, 2007. “Using self-resonant coils in a strongly coupled regime, we experimentally demonstrated efficient nonradiative power transfer over distances up to 8 times the radius of the coils. We were able to transfer 60 watts with ∼40% efficiency over distances in excess of 2 meters,” said the group.


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