Tired of the mess created by power cords for laptops, and chargers for iPods, cell phone and digital cameras? Cannot locate your power adapters just when you are about to run out of power? The new wireless power technology may come to your rescue. We all want to stay connected and entertained, and we use many gadgets and electrical instruments. Sometimes, it is hard to tell how many wires hanging in your living room.
Wireless Electricity is an emerging technology, so you may not achieve “Wireless Nirvana” right away. There is already a good number of electronic devices that can be charged without using an electrical wire. Wireless power cord is now available for mobile phones, iPod, iPhone, and other MP3 devices. Wireless chargers are not yet available for laptop and TV, but you won’t have to wait long before they arrive.
Wireless power supply concept is similar to electric toothbrush chargers, which transfer the power to the brush handle through magnetic induction. However, the new wireless devices are much more powerful and use magnetic resonance to increase power transmission speed and quality.
There are two kinds of wireless electricity transmissions. The first method uses magnetic induction technology and requires some kind of charging pad on which you place your devices. You can charge your cell phone, camera and iPod etc. all in one charger. The second kind of cordless power technology uses wireless antenna to transmit power in your house and requires no charging pads or wires. However this long-range wireless power supply technology is still in the works and it may take an year or so before you see truly wireless devices in the market.
The long-range transmission of wireless electricity could in principle do away with the need for a charging pad altogether. This technique uses the energy in radio waves, broadcast from a transmitter and harnessed by an antenna, to generate electricity. Using the passive-power principle found in crystal radios, the method has proved successful over short distances in places where it is difficult to replace batteries or carry out maintenance. The problem is that the intensity of the radio waves needed to charge mobile phones and laptop computers over long distances might be hazardous to human health, and regulators would be unlikely to approve.
There are several wireless charger based products already available in the market and also some new concepts still worked in the labs.
Leading Wireless Power Technology Providers
- Powermat – They have recently released wireless charging mat, now available in stores. Costs about 100 to 200 dollars depending on how many devices you want to charge.
- WildCharge – Wire free chargers available for sale. Supports iPhone, BalckBerry and other phones. Costs about 80 to 100 dollars including charing skins.
- WiTricity – Designed for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) to embed directly in their products and systems. Expected to be available in early 2010.
- Fulton Innovation – eCoupled – Designed for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) to embed directly in their products and systems
- WiPower – Charging Pad based technology available to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) only
- Mojo Mobility
Wireless Power Consortium provides international standard for compatible wireless charging stations. Compatible products will be recognized by a logo. Phones, cameras, remote controls, and all mobile electronics carrying the logo will work with all charging stations that carry the logo.