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Power Hardware

Wireless Power Gets A Boost 102

srizah writes "At CES, Las Vegas, two companies — Arizona-based WildCharge and Michigan-based Fulton have demonstrated what are very different ways to charge gadgets sans wires. "
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Wireless Power Gets A Boost

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  • I, for one ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by milo_a_wagner ( 1002274 ) <milo@yiannopoulos.net> on Monday January 08, 2007 @09:06AM (#17507036) Homepage
    Can't wait for this stuff. Imagine it - slap your mobile down on your desk and it's charged. Your MacBook - chargind while you use it with no wires. Awesome. A pad that can charge multiple devices (as in the article) would also be great. But how realistic is this, by which I mean, how far away is this tech from being 'in the shops'? I suspect it'll be some time. Wingrove says their first device will be available this Summer, but I'm sceptical. And I *don't* want my phone/laptop etc. to have a wireless dongle sticking out of it; almost as unsightly as the power cord.
  • Re:I, for one ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yourexhalekiss ( 833943 ) <herp AT derpstep DOT com> on Monday January 08, 2007 @09:15AM (#17507098) Homepage
    What is to prevent technologies like this from malfunctioning and frying everyone in the room? I'm not trolling, I'm just curious about the tech behind it.
  • by animaal ( 183055 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @09:20AM (#17507132)

    when you have to connect it to something, it's not wireless. quit wasting my time.
    Wifi is termed "wireless" - even though your 802.11-enabled router is plugged into the wall, and is probably externally connected via an ethernet cable. Your reply might be "Yes, but I can receive a signal on my laptop without the laptop requiring a cable". Well, the same applies here. Your phone can charge without needing a cable plugged into it.
  • by dino213b ( 949816 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @09:24AM (#17507162)
    (Or MPT) is an actual working technology already in use - I seem to recall a small experimental, remotely controlled, airplane that was powered this way. A ground microwave dish followed it as it moved across the sky and that powered the motors and other scientific experiments. On the other hand, a stationary object such as a cell phone shouldn't have a problem being powered in a dedicated recharge zone (such as a counter or shelf that would be designated as a human-unsafe area). Wikipedia claims that power transmission efficiencies and radiation are mostly negligible -- if so, does that mean that we should be going after it or is there inherent danger to the process?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_power_trans mission [wikipedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2007 @09:37AM (#17507252)
    Electricity doesn't cause global warming. Stupidity in generation of electricity does. If you live somewhere smart (such as Ontario) where more than 50% of your power comes from sources other than hydrocarbons and dams, you aren't damaging the environment at all. Ontario, while it does have occasional power issues, generally has such an excess of electricity we export it to the US all the time.

    Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Ontario's power does not come from hydroelectric, wind, or solar power, proving that if you follow Ontario's lead anyone can have enough electricity anywhere.

    Ontario, Canada, at least, will be a much cleaner place when everything turns electric. Keep it beautiful, indeed!
  • by KUHurdler ( 584689 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @09:49AM (#17507388) Homepage
    we just got a bunch of those induction flashlights at work that are supposed to charge themselves when you shake them... for "safety". Naturally, we disected them the same day we got them, only to find that they are powered by two Lithium batteries.

    I suppose shaking them could eventually charge the battery if it ever died... but it still seems like cheating to me.
  • The wireless Desk (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cyclomedia ( 882859 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @10:23AM (#17507774) Homepage Journal
    I've muttered about this before, what i'd like is a desk that was just a simple large flat inductive surface (with a nice layer of veneer on top). It could handle communication between devices (instead of insecurely and noisily shouting all your data over bluetooth et-al) and power/charge any reasonably small compatible device placed on it (laptops and monitors might be too beefy). digital cameras and ipods could just have a contact plate on one or more surfaces (the bottom of the camera, the back of the ipod) and would just show up a-la USB in your taskbar when you plonk them on the same desk as your PC. you could register your keyboard to your PC but the mouse might need some backup power onboard for when you're thrashing it about. Desks could be wired together to create workgroups in office spaces, that way everyone would be able to use the printer and scanner on the end table as if it were a native device, though they'd need to be queueable and lockable depending on who was using them, but you could still lock-out other people from messing with the digital camera that's on your desk.

    basically expand the computer to include your entire desk, without all the annoying wires
  • by Orange Crush ( 934731 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @10:41AM (#17507994)
    we just got a bunch of those induction flashlights at work that are supposed to charge themselves when you shake them... for "safety". Naturally, we disected them the same day we got them, only to find that they are powered by two Lithium batteries.

    Same concept, different application. Those flashlights contain a linear generator. Shaking them charges the batteries by essentially shaking a magnet back and forth past some coiled wire. Inductive chargers contain two coils--one inside the charger and one inside the device. When the charger runs current through its coil, the electrons in the device's coil are essentially "dragged along" too which generates current in the charging device without any metal touching between the charger and the device. This is especially handy for things like shavers and electric toothbrushes as metal contacts can get corroded or grimed up with toothpaste and shaving cream.

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:55PM (#17509770)
    I had a watch that was charged using induction, it allowed it to recharge without having a connection or contacts exposed.

    I have a mechanical watch that's "charged" using a pendulum that moves when I move my arm and winds the mainspring. Perhaps such a system could be adapted to things like iPods that often get used on a person of in a vehicle.


God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner