The future is here! Some of the things that recently thought of as science fiction has turned to science facts. Scientists have come up with a way to charge your device wirelessly. Not the charging where you place the phone on a charging pad. That one will soon become a thing of the past if what the researchers at Disney will bring their idea to the masses. The possibilities go beyond simple charging of smartphones to bigger gadgets which have bigger batteries. Welcome, tomorrow.
What we have
At the moment, the name ‘wireless charging’ is limited to smartphones at the high end of the spectrum. Even so, the technology has not taken off as people had initially expected. For the most part, the phone has to remain in contact with a charging pad. Lift it off by a millimeter and the charging stops. Also, the charging is limited to smaller batteries such as smartphones. Even sadder is the fact that very few phones have the technology as it is not truly wireless charging as such. It is simply bypassing the USB port for a charging pad which is not very impressive.
At Disney Research, researchers have come up with a way to not only impress us but make the dream of ditching the charging cable a reality. With the quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR) technology (a mouthful to say the least), you can leave your phone in your pocket with the battery in the dreaded red region and pull it out a smiling green when you enter a hotspot. This technology has the potential to shift the battery in ways we never imagined. Do not be surprised when your next smartphone comes without any accompanying wires (they did away with the headphone jack already remember).
Magic at its realest
This new technology is Wi-Fi with power. While your Wi-Fi hotspot gives you access to the internet, this new technology gives you access to the power grid. Awesome! To show that their magic works, the Disney researchers went ahead to set up a little demonstration. Forgive the word little as there was nothing little about it.
In a room measuring 16 feet by 16 feet, they set up aluminum walls, floor and ceiling (to keep the current in) and went ahead to fire things up. Inside the room, they had several lights, mobile phones, fans all of which light up without a wire near them. They room was filled with magnetic waves of the near-field wavelength. If that does not impress you, how about the knowledge that this idea needs a few tweaks to go commercial?
Enough and Harmless
Many people will, of course, wonder about the implications of such a technology on the human body. Well, first of all, it is enough to charge 320 smartphones of the highest battery capacity. This technology can produce up to 1.9 kilowatts of power which is enough for many items in the room.
To make it work, a source of the magnetic waves is located in one section of the room. The waves are sent to receiving coils in the devices in the room for a charge. Our bodies are not in this group of devices hence you will not even notice the waves in the room. For the most part, therefore, you are safe from the waves. They are for your device to enjoy and nothing more.
Crafting the Future
When this technology becomes mainstream, the current technology of cradles and charging pads will seem like a child’s gimmick. In the near future, this research will be remembered as the first one to transmit power from one point to the other without a wire.
The best part about this news is that the researchers have assured the expectant that the technology will be able to work in the normal environments of the home. As the refinement goes on, the waves will be able to work in a home with conductive paint, modular panels and other parts. However, in the long term, you will not need any special thing besides a transmitter.
Now that data and power can be transmitted wirelessly, it is not far off until everything becomes truly wireless. Imagine a situation where you have no single wire in the home yet your electronics are working as normal.