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Intel Demos Wireless "Resonant" Recharging 184

Posted by timothy
from the really-strikes-a-chord dept.
Al writes "Last Thursday researchers from Intel demonstrated a way to recharge electronics from about meter away using a 'resonant' magnetic field. At an event held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, the researchers showed off a pair of iPod speakers connected to a 30-centimeter-wide copper coil that received power from a similar, but larger, copper coil about a meter away. The recharging technique relies on a phenomenon called resonant coupling, in which objects can exchange energy when tuned to resonate at the same frequency. A similar approach was developed by researchers at MIT in 2007, and spun off into a company called WiTricity. This company has already developed a few products that use resonant coupling to recharge, including a car battery."
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Intel Demos Wireless "Resonant" Recharging

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  • Re:Pacemakers? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Monday June 22, 2009 @01:32PM (#28425091)
    You jest, but charging pacemakers or other internal devices would be almost the only practical use for this technique.
  • Re:Pacemakers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vertinox (846076) on Monday June 22, 2009 @01:34PM (#28425135)

    Pacemakers lol?

    If you think replacing a battery on an iPhone is hard, try replacing your own pacemaker battery.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday June 22, 2009 @01:42PM (#28425279)

    Um, this wasn't touted as a replacement for batteries. It was touted as a replacement for charging cables. IE, when I get home I throw my cell phone on the desk and it starts charging, rather than having to plug it into a cord.

    Personally, I CAN see some benefit to that concept. Not the least of which is that I just plain forgot to plug in my phone sometimes, but I ALWAYS sit it on the desk when I get home. It would also just clear up some of the clutter (I'm up to 4 different cables sitting on my desk now - a generic USB extension, a mini-USB connector, a cell phone charger, and an iPod connector).

    That said, every wireless power transmission scheme I've seen was EXTREMELY inefficient. Unless the technology could be made to work in the same ballpark efficiency as our current wired methods, I just don't see it as a good long term solution. If it was just a case though of "Yeah, we figured it out. Want one?" though then I'd be first in line.

  • Efficiency? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by juanergie (909157) <superjuanelo@gmail.com> on Monday June 22, 2009 @01:43PM (#28425303) Homepage Journal

    Anybody familiar with the efficiency of this process? What fraction of the wattage is lost during transfer?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22, 2009 @01:44PM (#28425311)

    Nikola Tesla and that crazy discovery of wireless energy transfer. Next time you power up your gizmo (via AC to DC conversion) raise a glass to the man who started it all!

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday June 22, 2009 @01:57PM (#28425561) Homepage

    There are at least four schemes for short-range wireless power transmission around. This needs to be standardized so it can be deployed.

    The very short range ones, which couple a tabletop pad to a device on it, would be most useful. All the little stuff that needs recharging should be on the same system, with recharging pads in bedroom, office, hotel room, car, airline tray table, Starbucks, etc. Unless the players get together and agree on a standard, this is going nowhere.

  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Monday June 22, 2009 @02:33PM (#28426115) Homepage

    FTFA:
    "the type of radiation shared between the two coils is nonradiative,"

    which I take to mean 'no more than a few Watts of power are involved', which is fine for mobile phones and the like I suppose.

  • by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Monday June 22, 2009 @03:12PM (#28426753)
    Not only is it completely impractical, not only it is not original, another much more practical contact-free charging method has been in widespread use for over 10 years. Inductance charging is reasonably efficient and very handy for waterproofing rechargeable devices, like my Panasonic shaver [thegourmetdepotco.com] (link to charger image). Not nearly the range of "resonant charging", but all the other advantages apply, and no tumors or pacemaker failures.
  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <.gro.todhsals. .ta. .deteled.> on Monday June 22, 2009 @03:19PM (#28426869)

    And what about humans.

    You know that our brain and nerves work electromagnetically, and many processes in our body do not expect a strong magnetic field on the outside.

    A weak field, OK. But a strong one will be bad. So the question is: How strong is still OK, and is the one who defines this trustworthy?

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