Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have demonstrated a wireless power system that can charge electronic devices without the need for cables.
The system, which was shown off during a keynote at the Industrial Physics Forum in San Francisco, was developed by a team led by Marin Soljacic at MIT.
Soljacic explained that he got the idea after becoming frustrated at his mobile phone running out of power.
The scientist tried to determine whether any of the physics principles he knew of could turn into new ways of transmitting energy.
Wireless power is not a new idea, and physicists have long known that radio and light both carry power.
But development of working systems has always proved difficult because the power could not be focused at any one point and can be hazardous to life in locations where power is increased, as seen with radar stations.
The MIT team used a special class of 'non-radiative' materials that can store wireless power.
Such materials focus electromagnetic waves on a specific frequency so that power transfer is possible without stray radiation.
The MIT team estimates that the system will have a range of three to six metres and see it being useful in industrial and home applications.
Scientists demo wireless power system
By Iain Thomson on Nov 16, 2006 11:52AM