Who needs batteries?

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Heavy, clumsy, expensive and toxic, batteries are a royal pain. Fortunately for users of cellphones, laptops and other devices that need frequent charging, those lab-coated heroes in white -- yep, scientists -- are working on a solution: WiTricity. Researchers at MIT have developed a technology inspired by the turn-of-the-century dreams of electro-genius Nikola Tesla, which efficiently transmits electricity in all directions in about a seven-foot range. Meanwhile, other elctromagnetic fields, such as those surrounding computers, cell phones, and human beings, remain largely unaffected.

The scientists were able to light up a 60-watt bulb that had "no physical connection" with the power-generating appliance. "It was quite exciting," MIT Prof. Marin Soljacic said. The process is "very reproducible," he added. "We can just go to the lab and do it whenever we want."

Right now, WiTricity can only power devices up to about 100 watts, and it still suffers from some energy wastage. Considering that it's still in the early stages of development, however, I'd say the future of electricity looks bright -- and wireless.

Link via Ecogeek.

June 11, 2007 - 8:46am
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