WiTricity

Eric Giler demonstrates MIT’s new version of wireless electric power utilizing magnetic coupled resonance technology.

Once again, Tesla has been proven correct. Now, instead of concentrating on nifty ways to eliminate the pesky tangle of cables that muck up the aesthetics of mounting flat-screen TVs on walls or the annoyance of having to re-charge cell phones and what not, if only we could get working on perfecting his awesome “death beam” that will end all wars in the future…

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “WiTricity

  1. OK, I saw this one last week. We had quite a discussion on it, and I happen to be an electrical engineer.

    I think this would be great for charging small gadgets like cell phones. Gadgets which never leave the house (or the area into which the magnetic charging field projects) might get by with no battery, such as a CORDLESS phone but not a cell phone. Cell phones will still need a battery if you plan to use them anywhere (magnetic fields drop off quite quickly with distance).

    I think it’s misleading when he suggests you could get rid of cell phone batteries (though you might in some other gadgets).

    As for televisions, I think it’s wrong to increase the power used by televisions on a large scale. Haven’t we been trying to do the opposite, saving a little on every TV and monitor adds up to megawatts on a large scale? He admits the transmission is 50% efficient, I doubt it’ll get much more – ever. Besides, a large TV is heavy and you probably won’t move it often. There might be some specialized applications of this, but replacing existing wall-plug technology isn’t it.

    I hope it becomes commercially available for charging small gadgets. It might even be possible to build the power receiving gear into something very small like an AA or AAA or 9V battery so this could retrofit into older gadgets.

    But overall I find his presentation misleading and I wonder how many investors will be duped into thinking this opportunity is bigger than it really is.

  2. I have to admit that the flat screen television was a less than compelling device to use, but maybe that was selected more for effective demonstration purposes than anything else. Also, the MCR mat for recharging cars seems kind of ridiculous (and wasteful) just to avoid plugging in your vehicle — like that’s a big effort.

    Inefficiency has always been the problem with wireless electricity (as you well know) but you probably noted that he minimized that problem by comparing to the waste involved with battery technology.

    I think we should just focus on the “death beam”… 😉

  3. Okhropir rumiani

    Is the distance/ coil number relationship exponential? If it is then we’re talking a serious death beam.

    I wonder if there’d be a way to shape the magnetic circuit to make it more efficient. What do I know?

    Powering electronic implants would definitely be great.

  4. sapphireandsteel

    dental or breast implants?

  5. The power transfer in this case is entirely magnetic, which is different from Tesla’s old scheme of radiated electromagnetic (e.g. microwave). Given the fields they use in MRIs I have no idea how you’d kill anyone with magnetism. And since it’s an alternating field it doesn’t attract metal like a static magnetic field. Sounds pretty safe to me. Worst case is, it might de-magnetize things within its field, like magnetic cards. Wonder if they’ve tested for that?

    @sapphireandsteel: LOL! Now I have too many naughty thoughts. BTW I think they already use induction to charge pacemakers, don’t they? I don’t think that’s new.

    @redtory: What’s the difference, anyway?

  6. Tesla coil will provide the unstoppable uses of electricity. Handy electronics will keep collecting electricity and continue in consuming it.

  7. sapphireandsteel

    The Rational Number – some pacemakers do use induction for charging going as far back to the mid to late 1960s. Interesting technology.

    Electric guitar pickups also use electromagnetic induction which the 16 year old in me would argue is its greatest purpose.

    Here’s an interesting site for Wireless Power Transmission. http://www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com/

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