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Intel Claims an Advance In Wireless Power

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the magnet-fields-are-harmless-so-they-say dept.

Power 327

Many readers are sending in coverage of a demo at Intel's developer forum of a wirelessly powered 60-watt bulb. The NYTimes gives background on Intel's improvement to the 'wireless resonant energy link' technology pioneered at MIT, where researchers achieved 50% efficiency of power transmitted several meters via magnetic fields. Intel reached 75% efficiency. Now they just have to make those coils a lot smaller.

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What a waste of energy (4, Insightful)

Timo_UK (762705) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704265)

25% of wasted power and goal achieved? Plus a nice pulsating magnetic field in the house? No thank you.

Re:What a waste of energy (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704333)

Plus a nice pulsating magnetic field in the house?

They'll sell more if they say it's "throbbing".

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705647)

Plus a nice pulsating magnetic field in the house?

They'll sell more if they say it's "throbbing".

Only if they are selling to women.

Re:What a waste of energy (5, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704389)

This is not a new technology but it is helpful to have refined, although the first use when the technology matures will be short range devices (1-2ft) not long range devices (10-20ft).

A4tech made a series of wireless battery free mice that use the same technology (I've been using those for about 4 years)....they were cheap pricewise too. A4tech appears to have lost their sql server/domain (at a4tech.com), so I'm linking one from a shopping site:
http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp=39484911 [ecost.com]

These types of things are actually really nice, it makes the mouse extremely lightweight as well.

However, I seem to recall people saying the wireless transmission aspects will enable to create a "charging pad" whereupon you can place any device and simply charge it without having to connect it, and thus would be the basic use - put an ipod, a phone, whatever on said pad and charge ahoy.

Re:What a waste of energy (4, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704757)

Tesla wanted to do this on a large scale over a hundred years ago, and was prevented by his investors because there was no way to meter usage. He filed a patent for his concept in 1900. This technology is crippled and extremely late.

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704919)

Wow, patents do stifle innovation, huh? So you say it is crippled and extremely late, but could that be due to the use of patent laws? It is not a limitation of the people from Intel and MIT who are looking at it now that the patent monopoly has expired.

Re:What a waste of energy (4, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705321)

Or maybe it was just considered a bad idea, and I think it's now as well.

Re:What a waste of energy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705223)

>Tesla wanted to do this on a large scale
>over a hundred years ago, and was prevented
>by his investors because there was no way
>to meter usage.

BS. They knew how much was being pumped in the the sending coil. As far as distribution, it's just a matter of finding a way to allocate the costs. People didn't give up on radio because you can't meter it....they found a different business model to accomodate it.

Anyway, this is extremely wasteful. Tesla had some decent ideas, but he also had some wacko ones. This was one of the wacko ones.

The physics behind this is simple. Go back to high school and figure it out.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705657)

BS. They knew how much was being pumped in the the sending coil. As far as distribution, it's just a matter of finding a way to allocate the costs. People didn't give up on radio because you can't meter it....they found a different business model to accomodate it.

It's kind of hard to insert an ad into your electricity. The GP speaketh correctly... he *was* shot down on his idea because it's not possible to meter/bill for usage.

Re:What a waste of energy (5, Insightful)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705229)

Tesla wanted to do this on a large scale over a hundred years ago, and was prevented by the laws of physics.

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Nataliy (1349469) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705533)

Wow, patents do stifle innovation, huh? So you say it is crippled and extremely late, but could that be due to the use of

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704773)

Those mice use a totally different technology. They have nothing to do at all with this.

Re:What a waste of energy (1, Insightful)

Mobius Ring (1346871) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704923)

So... you'll give up on plugging things in so that you can put your iPod (or whatever) onto what is essentially a pulsating magnetic field device... otherwise known in the past as a "mass magnetic media wipe" device?

I'll stick to my cables thanks.

Re:What a waste of energy (-1, Flamebait)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705043)

Hello sir, are you retarded? I would presume from your response the answer is yes. Thank you for representing illogical fear of change with no actual basis, just like 80% of the population.

You could sit a flash drive on the charging device, and it wouldn't be wiped or even corrupted. I mean honestly, you think something would head towards consumer level with ridiculously uncontrolled magnetic field? In case you're wondering, batteries (as they exist now) already naturally pull the power towards them through wireless transmission of this technology, otherwise why the hell would someone suggest putting a phone/ipod on such a charger? On an equal level, do you not think that hard drives, ipods, etc don't even have a remote level of magnetic shielding? Are you that naive?

Re:What a waste of energy (-1, Flamebait)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705295)

The only retard here is you, this charging system will not charge any currently existing battery, the device would need to be designed to support this Wireless Charging system. Also if you put a hardrive in a degaussing field it WILL be destroyed they do not employ shielding beyond the metal casing they typically come in. As to whether or not this device produces a sufficiently strong magnetic field to damage a drive at any reasonable distance remains to be seen.

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705329)

Hello sir, are you retarded? I would presume from your inability to read the answer is yes. Thank you for needlessly flaming someone with a valid point just because you want to sound big and scary.

The above poster never mentioned flash drives or anything of the sort, but he did mention magnetic media. You know, like those not-so-uncommon things, ummm, oh what are they called? Oh yeah! HARD DRIVES!

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704997)

That mouse is just how RFID, or the touchless payment cards work. However, the technology presented here is talking about a totally different mechanism.

FTA: "Induction is already used to recharge electric toothbrushes, but that approach is limited by the need for the toothbrush to be placed in the base station."
(And electric toothbrushes are already here for decade?)

If you try anything like transmitting 120W (60W / 50% efficiency) in that old way, mostly will end up with a mini-induction cooker [wikipedia.org]

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705145)

Umm no. The mouse uses no batteries and also uses radio frequency to transmit the mouse tracking. It uses magnetic induction for power.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705359)

And rfid doesn't get its power thru coils and magnetic fields? How does it work?

Re:What a waste of energy (3, Informative)

vsage3 (718267) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705459)

This is not a new technology but it is helpful to have refined, although the first use when the technology matures will be short range devices (1-2ft) not long range devices (10-20ft).

Actually it IS a new technology. Anyone who is spouting off bombast about how Tesla came up with this a hundred years ago, or that we've been using this in transformers for years is WRONG. Transformers are not resonant devices and rather rely on the closeness of the windings/core to guide the majority of the field lines to the other winding. As for Tesla's work, he used strictly far field EM radiation, which differs fundamentally from this effect, which uses near-field interactions that tend to "stick" for lack of a better term to the power source unless transferred to another device capable of resonating with it. This is what makes this 2006 discovery so great because it is extremely efficient and doesn't rely on line of sight or broadcasting a huge amount of power so that a device a reasonable distance away can receive the power it needs to operate. According to the 2006 article ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/317/5834/83 [sciencemag.org] ) the electric fields involved are small too: around 200V/m which is about double Earth's field at ground.

And finally, The human body has little to no magnetic response which is why MRI's don't kill you with their multi-Tesla magnetic fields (the Earth's magnetic field is 0.5 Gauss = 1/20000 T, for reference)

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705545)

Arnold's been there and done just that : a wireless mouse charger. http://www.afrotechmods.com/cheap/arnoldpad/arnoldpad.htm

Re:What a waste of energy (2, Interesting)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705611)

This is not a new technology but it is helpful to have refined, although the first use when the technology matures will be short range devices (1-2ft) not long range devices (10-20ft).

Keep in mind that there are already quite a few of these in use today. My Sonicare toothbrush has no external contacts or wires, and charges quite well in its base. Recently I discovered that it will also charge if you just stand it *next* to the base. Pretty cool tech if you ask me, I just hate the fact that I cant replace the Li batteries (which are exactly AAA size) when they fail.

Re:What a waste of energy (4, Funny)

beacher (82033) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704447)

I've used these wireless extension [thinkgeek.com] cords and they don't have the throbbing noise. Just don't walk between them.....

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704617)

It doesn't say on ThinkGeek's page - what is the power output for those?

Re:What a waste of energy (4, Funny)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704691)

Try and add it to your cart and it'll show the proper power output.

Re:What a waste of energy (2, Informative)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704805)

I think that's one of those "april fools" items... note the availability of it.

Re:What a waste of energy (1, Flamebait)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704657)

Wow, just wow.

Parent should be funny, not interesting - it's an April Fool's product.

Re:What a waste of energy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704825)

I can't believe this got modded "Interesting" ... that thinkgeek item was released on April 1 quite a while ago .....

Re:What a waste of energy (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704479)

In addition to my snarky comment, I have a serious one.

I can think of a number of uses that are worth the wasted power. One would be wirelessly charging at airports, coffee shops, etc. Another would be prosthetics... Imagine if you had a motorized leg or arm and could set up a charging coil near your desk so that you're nearly always "topped off". You could even have the coil power down when not in use so that these "pulsating magnetic fields" don't worry the fickle masses.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705243)

in addition to your serious comment, I have a snarky one

Imagine you had motorized legs, inadvertently got too close to a charging coil, and started can-can dancing uncontrollably. It could also serve as a reason for "uncontrollably" copping a feel...

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705765)

I agree, although I see a much more needed issue, recharging cars while driving on the road though magnetic fields, in traffic etc... if we are to change to a electric motor, we need to charge all the time to not end up with a loss of fuel for the car.... in the middle of nowhere there arent any charging stations... also back this up with special coated paint that has solar cells in it for the car to get a charge from sunlight at the same time, and we have cars running on free energy all the time

Re:What a waste of energy (5, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704487)

You already have pulsating magnetic fields in your house. In the US, AC current is 60 hz, so you have a constant 60 hz magnetic field. That hum you hear is the oscillating magnetic field moving steel back and forth.

Your TV has a tremendous magnetic field, as do subwoofers.

The magnetic field won't hurt you. My dad was an electrical lineman for forty years, often working on the 30,000 volt towers. He couldn't wear a mechanical wristwatch because it would become magnetized. He just turned 77 and he's healthier than a lot of guys my age.

If magnetic fields caused cancer, linemen would die of lukemia right and left.

Re:What a waste of energy (2, Insightful)

thebigmacd (545973) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704569)

Don't forget too, that the earth is a giant magnet with a very powerful field. Granted it is fixed (not alternating) but still...

Re:What a waste of energy (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704705)

He just turned 77 and he's healthier than a lot of guys my age.

You're new here^h^h^h^h to statistics, aren't you?

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705013)

No, he later said, "If magnetic fields caused cancer, linemen would die of lukemia[sic] right and left."

Now, there are studies that do not favor his point of view... a quick google gives me the result that linemen are actually 2.5 times more likely to get leukemia.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705245)

No, he later said, "If magnetic fields caused cancer, linemen would die of lukemia[sic] right and left."

I know. I was mostly just trying to be funny.

But even if we take my joke more seriously: his failure to notice higher rates of cancer in linemen (or of non-Leukemia cancers) doesn't necessarily mean it's not happening. In fact, you're Google search seems to confirm that. So we could still ding him (if we were being serious rather than just cracking jokes) for being unrigorous in his data collection method.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705357)

BS! The infomercials tell me magnets are good for you.

Re:What a waste of energy (5, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705587)

Linemen also spend more time in the sun, are more likely to be exposed to PCB residues from transformers, and are exposed to chemicals like arsenic and creosote used as preservatives in wooden poles.

TV's magnetic field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704777)

Your TV has a tremendous magnetic field, as do subwoofers.

My TV is an LCD flat panel. Please explain to me how it has a *tremendous* magnetic field.

A small field, perhaps, but it certainly has no CRT tube's deflection yoke in it.

Re:TV's magnetic field (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704937)

My TV is an LCD flat panel. Please explain to me how it has a *tremendous* magnetic field.

Not to the same extent but it has a high voltage power transformer for the backlight.

Tell that to the "New Agers" with their healing .. (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704843)

crystals.

I was once at this new agey type of store, and there were these pyramid shaped Zen Clocks [now-zen.com] . I thought they were cool but a bit over priced ($99 now $119), especially when you consider that they are just a fancy shape, with a clinky "chime", all around a cheap-ass AA battery powered travel clock. When I asked about an AC one, the clerk informed me that the company doesn't make one because of the "electromagnetic fields" from AC. I chuckled and said it's more like the battery clock inserts are much cheaper.

I walked away in disgust and jealousy for not thinking of such a gimmick.

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704911)

You don't have an emf in most of your house if it's wired properly. The field around most things is quite limited and most of your living space should be the same as outdoor ambient.

Re:What a waste of energy (2, Funny)

querist (97166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705169)

That 60Hz is also a good B-flat in case you need to tune a musical instrument.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705659)

A few years back the power company bought some right away to string some high tension lines through this farmers property. He had a shed that he used as a work stop and was lit by fluorescent lights. After the power company put up the lines at night the tubes would glow from the magnetic field. I guess it depended on the load on the lines but sometimes they would by dim and some times bright enough to work by at night. Damn eerie as hell is what is was.

Re:What a waste of energy (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704745)

We've already got enough wasteful energy tech "byproducts" heating the air without converting 25% of our mobile power into hot air in our homes and offices. That needs to be airconditioned away, which itself operates at something like 20% energy efficiency, so that extra 25% will cost an additional 125% in cooling power. The 75% used for charging will consume an extra 150%, so the whole affair will consume 3x the power it delivers to devices, for 33% efficiency, not 75%.

And if the chargers are on all the time, they're going to be wasting that extra energy all the time, the way wired adapter chargers do now. All those "always on" chargers use a significant percentage of the world's electric for no benefit whatsoever.

We should be working on tech that reduces these electric wastes, not multiplies them. We don't have enough energy to waste now, let alone to waste many times more.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704849)

I think your estimate of how costly it is to remove the extra heat generated is too high.

I entirely agree about wired always-on devices, though. I have a ton of AC-to-DC converters and power supplies that are terribly inefficient and a host of devices (including chargers) that are always running in standby mode.

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705037)

In many parts of the country, you only need to remove the heat for 3 or 4 months out of the year... waste heat isn't wasted in the winter.

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704779)

Is not this something Nikola Tesla had done a century ago. But people were afraid just like they were afraid of camera's and tore his lab down.

Re:What a waste of energy (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704935)

Exactly. My design back in 1992 had zero waste when an item was not near the mat. (I invented the "charge mat" for my final thesis for my EE degree.)

I simply looked for a change in inductance to detect if a device is local for charging, if so I switched from detect to charge and pulsed back to detect every minute. Also I did not have a 25% loss, but I was only supplying 10watts. (I was charging devices not powering them.) From what I remember losses went up ad the power range went up. Plus I used simple inductance not som fancy phased power system.

Side effect, keys on the mat will get warm, floppies and zip disks erased.

Re:What a waste of energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705313)

It's the way to solve the oil crisis! Just put up huge electromagnet everywhere in the US that has a road, and coils in every car. We'll have to accept a 25% loss of efficiency in the best cases, of course, and a much higher rate of loss elsewhere. That will solve the energy crisis quickly. Just put one nuke plant every 10 square miles, and no problem. Of course, the technology MAY have some unwanted side effects...Just think Tesla coil...

Re:What a waste of energy (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705731)

If comic books have taught me anything, it's that mutations resulting from long-term exposure to a powerful magnetic field can only lead to me becoming a costumed superhero. Worst case scenario, I end up a supervillian.

Cancer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704307)

This is the cancer that is killing slashdot!

Re:Cancer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704351)

Go back to 4chan.

Already been done (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704323)

Done six months ago. [65.98.92.48]

I've always wondered... (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704345)

With all the EMF in the average home, with AC wires in every wall and appliances always running, and as little power as a calculator or wristwatch uses, why they need batteries? It seems like a coil and a rectifier circut should be enough.

I'd probably know why if I were an electrical engineer.

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704431)

IANAEE, but you may wish to wear your watch outside, where it is not surrounded by electrical wires.

Re:I've always wondered... here's why (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704695)

The house wiring doesn't create much field, electric or magnetic. You would have to be right next to the wire to use it.

Magnetic - The current going out the hot wire is exactly matched by that returning on the neutral. The fields due to the two currents cancel.

Electric - The hot wire has 120 volts on it and that would create an electric field but the neutral and ground wires are right next to it. That means the field, while not completely shielded, does not go very far.

OTOH: some appliances create pretty hefty fields. CRT TVs and monitors, motors and subwoofers come to mind. As long as you're willing to sit your calculator on an old CRT TV, you should be able to power it easily. ;-)

alternative (5, Insightful)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704353)

how about all manufacturors agree on a single plug for their power supplies. Then the companies who make power sockets for offices can make one built into a wall socket. Put that into every meeting room. Suddenly you just need a 1 meter long, very thin cable instead of a lugging a whole kilo of copper around....

Re:alternative (2, Insightful)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704711)

PleasePleasePlease, someone with mod points mod up the parent.

I've been ranting on standardizing accessory connectors for years.
At least some cell phone companies are slowly moving in that direction, using USB for charging.
Now if only others would jump on-board. Cameras and MP3 players for instance. They already have the USB connection, how hard would it be to have it charge the damn battery?

Re:alternative (2, Funny)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705141)

Now, that's just crazy talk.

Re:alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705365)

Sometimes it's easier to pursue radical technological solutions than getting different people to agree.

I knew it (5, Funny)

Unclenefeesa (640611) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704357)

There had to be some truth in emails I received about cooking an egg between 2 cell phone !!

Great Idea - Not there yet. (1)

cephalien (529516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704365)

While I'm not well-versed in the possible dangers of all this additional radiation, clearly we can't argue that it's anywhere near mainstream yet.

In an age where we are increasingly becoming aware of just how fragile our fossil fuel-based energy supply is, even small-scale uses of this technology would need to see a significant increase in efficiency. Losing a quarter of your energy in the final step (nevermind whatever the endpoint device wastes as heat or whatnot), is simply unacceptable.

I say give it another decade, then we'll have viable application.

Re:Great Idea - Not there yet. (4, Insightful)

amdpox (1308283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704415)

Magnetic field != radiation. Even a fluctuating magnetic field isn't going to effect humans - I think the issue is more the EM interference a strong fluctuating field can bring about.

Re:Great Idea - Not there yet. (0, Troll)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704651)

But fluctuating magnetic fields affect bees.

Think of the bees man!

Re:Great Idea - Not there yet. (2, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704789)

Magnetic field != radiation. Even a fluctuating magnetic field isn't going to effect humans

As Maxwell showed with his equations, fluctuating magnetic field == radiation, by definition. (And is always associated with a corresponding fluctuating electrical field.)

Your second statement is not always true either. For example, the fluctuating electromagnetic field inside a microwave oven would certainly affect humans.

This is new? (4, Insightful)

amdpox (1308283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704367)

Unless I've misunderstood the linked article, this is just the same technique that has been used in transformers for decades - a fluctuating magnetic field created by an AC current through a solenoid inducing power in another solenoid. Sure, 75% efficiency is pretty good for a few metres, but those coils are bloody huge. Anyone care to enlighten me as to whether or not this is actually new?

Re:This is new? (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704393)

a fluctuating magnetic field created by an AC current through a solenoid inducing power in another solenoid .... Anyone care to enlighten me as to whether or not this is actually new?

      This one kills pigeons!

Re:This is new? (1)

billsf (34378) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705443)

IMO, not at all. The setup looks exactly like something Tesla built almost 100 years ago. Even Tesla's classic design style of the coils is used. In what little of Tesla's documentation I've seen, it would appear he beat the 75% barrier at greater distances long ago. This is one old idea that won't die and it shouldn't!

A more practical laptop solution would place the primary coil directly below the laptop, such as under a (physical) desktop. These power units would cost no more than a normal adapter -- a couple bucks. These coil units could be placed at all areas the laptop is used. (Except the lap, of course.) Like the RFID cards, a standard for frequency and field strength would allow complete interoperability. This would allow wireless power in public places and replace the common AC outlets provided for laptop users.

In addition to laptops, mobile phones, PDAs and other common gadgets could be made compatible. (perhaps not at maximum efficiency) Since this is the same technology as 'near field RFID', the coils would be energized only when a compatible unit was properly placed near the unit. While the cost of the power for a laptop is minimal, there is an automatic mechanism to bill the users. Most people would probably pay a buck to charge their batteries. The efficiency of this system would be far greater than any gadget -- 95% would be easy to achieve.

This is the way forward. This is not really Intel's expertise, so assume much better systems probably exist now. Intel's area of expertise is making chips, not Tesla coils or Linux powered TVs for that matter.
                   

We're still playing catchup with Tesla! (1)

Rod76 (705840) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704371)

How long ago did Tesla conceive of this, and we're still trying to keep up with the guy?

Re:We're still playing catchup with Tesla! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704727)

I agree -- Telsa used the magnetic resonance of the earth's own atmosphere to transmit wireless power over 100 years ago.

  Technology has almost caught up.. Tesla's original research to supply distant wireless power could now be incorporated into a space based system that consists of PV cells transmitting wireless power to terrestrial devices...

Re:We're still playing catchup with Tesla! (2, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704863)

How long ago did Tesla conceive of this, and we're still trying to keep up with the guy?

One little problem: Tesla thought that he would transmit megawatts of power wirelessly over transcontinental distances. The idea, as he conceived it, was and is completely unworkable. (Which helps to explain why he died penniless.)

Re:We're still playing catchup with Tesla! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705449)

And how exactly is it impossible to transmit megawatts of power wirelessly over transcontinental distances? We can already do it via microwaves, so of course there are probably other ways to do it that we just haven't figured out yet.

Re:We're still playing catchup with Tesla! (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705605)

And how exactly is it impossible to transmit megawatts of power wirelessly over transcontinental distances? We can already do it via microwaves, so of course there are probably other ways to do it that we just haven't figured out yet.

But Tesla wasn't using microwaves, which only work line-of-sight, and which hadn't been invented yet. Tesla wanted to somehow use the ionosphere and/or ground currents to make the energy follow the curvature of the earth. This is a totally different concept, and it cannot work.

BTW, we can theoretically transmit megawatts of microwaves over long distances. Nobody has demonstrated such a system, which would only make sense for spece-based solar power.

Re:We're still playing catchup with Tesla! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705453)

(Which helps to explain why he died penniless.)

No it doesn't

Good luck shrinking the coils (1)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704383)

My understanding of the physics of linked resonant coils is that the coupling efficiency at a given range (once you're farther away than a few times the coil diameter) is proportional to the coil diameter cubed. So if you halve the ring size, you drop the range by a factor of 8.

Wire the walls then (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705551)

Then let's just scale the loops with the building where it is meant to be used. Wire the walls.

Magnetic Field? (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704385)

With all the current debates and fears (justified or not) about the possible long-term effects of mobile phones, I wonder how they think installing this kind of generator in a house might work...

Ok, Slashdot team goal. (4, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704397)

Alright everyone, today's team building exercise will be to complete this discussion without mentioning Nicolai Tesla! Everyone, let's get together on this and try to avoid mentioning him in this thread and keep it entirely Tesla free! ...oh goddamnit.

Re:Ok, Slashdot team goal. (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704703)

Amusingly, this [slashdot.org] was posted exactly one minute *before* you submitted.

Re:Ok, Slashdot team goal. (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704977)

Aw man: I just lost The Game.

and the day after the tech goes live (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704399)

Pressure groups start campaigning about the health effects of bodily exposure to magnetic fields.

unlike the scares surrounding the micro-power electric fields from mobile phones and the virtually non-existent fields from CRTs, the amount of power being emitted by these (enough to power a laptop or lightbulb) might actually be something to get concerned about.

Tesla (1)

nemo11 (413920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704409)

Didn't Tesla do this a couple hundred years ago in a much safer way?

Tesla did this a long time ago. (4, Interesting)

kobotronic (240246) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704411)

Nikola Tesla demonstrated wirelessly powered fluorescent lights more than 100 years ago.

Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see practical applications and commercial implementations for this old idea, and hopefully help us reduce cable clutter a bit. I just hope that accidentally resonant circuitry in the vicinity of transmitters won't suddenly fry itself and cause random fires.

Re:Tesla did this a long time ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704809)

Yeah, and he's dead now!

Re:Tesla did this a long time ago. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704901)

As to the supposed dangers of strong magnetic fields: Tesla spent his entire adult life around some of the strongest magnetic fields ever generated by man, and he died quietly in his sleep at the age of 87.

Re:Tesla did this a long time ago - so did I (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705139)

And I did it about 35 years ago, outside my local amateur radio club.

This was before "star wars" and it was dark, so the sight of a couple of people waving 4-foot fluorescent tubes about was quite novel.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704419)

I'm sure they somehow got Tesla's notes about wireless power.

Im sure i speak on behalf of all of us (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704513)

when i say that we really wanna get rid of the cables for good. i hope they perfect this as soon as possible.

Tesla would be spinning in his grave... (5, Funny)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704519)

assuming his body had a ferrite core and was wrapped in copper wire, or something...

What's the big deal? (1)

fljmayer (985663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704599)

Any transformer does the same the thing with much better efficiency, but at smaller distances.

Star Trek Wireless Power (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704687)

A bolt of plasma shooting across engineering between the M-5 multitronic unit and the engines.

Sure it's a little hazardous to red shirts, but that's the price of progress.

Re:Star Trek Wireless Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705147)

Didn't Scotty wear a red shirt? I guess that's why that actor died first.

Parallel or Perpendicular? (1)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24704723)

In the photograph it shows the coils parallel to each other, if it can be perpendicular the larger coil could be placed under a rug or flooring or possibly in the wall, and thus hiding it.

Truly wireless home theater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24704867)

That size antenna would be fine to install behind drywall. Mount the Speaker and transmit the sound.

That matter it would work with all kinds of LED accent lighting as well.

Oh, yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705035)

This should do really good to any brain in the vincinity...

How about a real comparison of efficiency? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24705093)

One thing that seems to be missing from the articles and discussion about this technology is a comparison to the current tech (in this case, extension cords/power strips). What is the loss that exists right now?

I'm no electrician, but as an attempt at a ballpark I looked up a voltage drop calculator at http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm, plugged in 18AWG, 6 ft cord, 120V 1 phase power (an average extension cord from what I can determine) and got a 0.33% voltage drop. I don't know if voltage drop is a good indicator of total energy loss, but my rudimentary electrical knowledge suggests it might be.

Regardless, if that figure is even remotely accurate, it means we're comparing a 25% loss to a 0.33% loss, so the technology has a quite high efficiency cost compared to the current technology.

It might be more fair to compare the new system to a "wall wart" charger system, unfortunately I don't know what the typical gauge of wire is for that application, so here's a spread of guesses, with the power also adjusted to 6V DC and 1A (a more-or-less typical "charging" load)
30AWG 14.07% voltage drop
26AWG 5.6% voltage drop
22AWG 3.2% voltage drop

Obviously, the thinner the wire the more drop, but even if we're comparing 25% loss to 2.5% loss, that's an order of magnitude better than the assumption of comparing it to an extension cord.

Anyway, please elaborate on this if you're knowledgeable about it, I'm curious now.

Re:How about a real comparison of efficiency? (3, Interesting)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#24705569)

I'd guess that since it's AC, the efficiency is roughly in line with the square of the voltage drop (RMS power, from the dim and distant 1970's when I learnt physics).

So your 14.07% voltage drop works out at around 74% efficient - not far off the 75% claimed by Intel.

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