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Physicists Promise Wireless Power

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the having-a-hard-time-buying-it dept.

411

StrongGlad writes "The tangle of cables and plugs needed to recharge today's electronic gadgets could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at MIT have outlined a relatively simple system that could deliver power wirelessly to devices such as laptop computers or MP3 players. In a nutshell, their solution entails installing special 'non-radiative' antennae with identical resonant frequencies on both the power transmitter and the receiving device. Any energy not diverted into a gadget or appliance is simply reabsorbed. The system currently under development is designed to operate at distances of 3 to 5 meters, but the researchers claim that it could be adapted to factory-scale applications, or miniaturized for use in the 'microscopic world.'"

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That would be really cool to see... (4, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850918)

... and the subsequent and inevitable lawsuits brought about by people convinced that the wireless power technology is giving them cancer would probably get a little tiresome.

Re:That would be really cool to see... (0, Troll)

dscx (230411) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850960)

Well, the tumor in my head actually says so...

Re:That would be really cool to see... (2, Interesting)

Zigg (64962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850972)

You don't think there are any safety issues inherent here? I for one was surprised to see no discussion of it at all in the BBC article.

It well could be safe (or at least as safe as any other tech currently in use) but, man, I'd be looking at it very closely myself if I were responsible for bringing it to market.

You have a point. (5, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851016)

... there might be health issues -- but I suspect there will be lawsuits whether there are health issues or not.

Re:That would be really cool to see... (4, Insightful)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851622)

From the BBC Article:

5) Energy not transferred to laptop re-absorbed by source antenna. People/other objects not affected as not resonating at 6.4Mhz

That was at the bottom of the graphic. So it should be safe (however, seeing as the technology only exists as a computer model and not as reality, I would bet that if there are any safety issues they will only come to light after such a device is actually built)

Re:That would be really cool to see... (2, Insightful)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851032)

Please don't assume it's totally harmless and I won't assume it's totally harmful.
Sure, we're all gonna die, but some precautionary principle could ease the pain.

Re:That would be really cool to see... (2, Informative)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851404)

Yesterday the Corus radio network across Canada had a guest on with a study that's presumably scientific but I missed the details, and he found that cell phone radiation poses a 2 to 3 times risk of giving the user tumours. He said the problems with initial studies was the assumption that microwaves at so low an intensity as to not HEAT the subject, could not do damage. But in fact, even low intensity waves cause damage according to his study.

Discovered???!??!?? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16850920)

Umm..

hello.. Tesla??

ever hear of that guy??

yea.. he proposed this well.. 100 years ago..

incidently.. the security word in the image.. photon.. how appropriate..

Re:Discovered???!??!?? (3, Informative)

Ummite (195748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851132)

Exactly, Tesla did it 100 years ago, and over more than a km distance! But people don't know that guy. Tesla coil, radio transmission, AC electricity etc. The only thing new is the usage, little scale.

alexchiu (2, Insightful)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851356)

This was concepted by powerman Alex Chiu. You are right. It is not new idea of super energy platform.

Now who's stupid (4, Funny)

joss (1346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850930)

I bet I'm not the only one here who has taken the piss out of someone for asking if they can get a wireless power supply for their laptop

Re:Now who's stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851206)

Wireless power is nothing. I'm waiting for the big one...powerless wire!!

Re:Now who's stupid (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851324)

Stop paying your electric bills for a while, you'll get your powerless wires soon enough - and for free!

Re:Now who's stupid (5, Funny)

ThomsonsPier (988872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851472)

Surely that would be a battery?

Loss (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850934)

I can't see avoiding a large degree of power loss, and the last thing we need right now is something more inefficient than wll-warts.

It would also suck to have a random bdy part resonate in a similar frequency ...

Re:Loss (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16850962)

I can't see

that's why you're not a genius.

Re:Loss (5, Informative)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850998)

Actually, the ironic thing is, if this is using Tesla's principles, it's extremely efficient. Maybe not as much as copper wire, but still rather higher than would be expected.

Re:Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851024)

I'm not sure how much we can advance without losing efficiency. We already have MagSafe [apple.com] which takes care of preventing potentially tripping over cables. What more do we really need?

Re:Loss (1, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851068)

It would also suck to have a random bdy part resonate in a similar frequency ...

      I dunno, I guess it all depends on exactly WHICH body part we're talking about... this might revolutionize the online pr0n industry :)

Re:Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851318)

You misplaced words in sentence, it was not: "It would also have to suck a random body part in a similar resonate frequency..."

Re:Loss (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851612)

While this was meant as a joke, many other forms of electronic entertainment(particularly video games) would have massive benefit from being able to stimulate nerves of various kinds in particular places in the body without physical contact.

Re:Loss (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851252)

I can't see avoiding a large degree of power loss, and the last thing we need right now is something more inefficient than wll-warts.

I would expect that it's worst than that, the wireless power transmitter would be powered with a wall-wart.

Re:Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851278)

So (a) you consider transformers to be "inefficient", even though they are the most efficient machines known, and (b) you didn't RTFA so you don't know that this proposed method is also very efficient.

OK, then. Obviously you're very worried about efficiency. I hope you don't have a car.

Re:Loss (1)

kniLnamiJ-neB (754894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851350)

In local news, an impatient businessman checked his email while waiting on his child's orthodontic work. Seventeen people were injured.

Re:Loss (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851396)

Well, I was thinking along similar lines -- it wouldn't seem to offer much if at most, you can power a factory, since a factory can already be easily powered via cords. But then I thought about aircraft (I work in aerospace). Remember that with aircraft, conserving weight is so important, and you basically have "skeletons in the sky". Since you have to send electrical wiring to many parts of the aircraft, that requires you to put holes through the frames (left-right spanning structural members), which weakens them and forces you to make up for it with more material elsewhere in the frame. Allowing electricity to be sent to all parts of the aircraft without having to put such holes in, would seem to allow for better, lighter designs.

100 years later... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16850940)

Three Cheers for Nikola Tesla!

Problems (4, Insightful)

Solokron (198043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850956)

This would bring an entirely new scale of issues. People getting arrested for wireless power theft would be cute.

Re:Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851102)

Exactly how, then, would a power provider bill for this kind of service?


1. Treat the power as 'used' at full capacity, 24/7...and bill the company/building owner/individual who hired them to place the generator.

or

2. Watch people walk past a generator, then jump out of the bushes and sue them for theft of service.

Re:Problems (2, Informative)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851158)

It has a range of 5 metres. It is something you would install in your home, not deliver power to a house.

So someone could sit outside your house, and nick your bb connection and not worry about battery life.

Re:Problems (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851290)

Well, AFAIK people already have been punished for wireless power theft. The power in that case came from a radio transmission tower.

Re:Problems (1)

myth24601 (893486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851376)


This would bring an entirely new scale of issues. People getting arrested for wireless power theft would be cute.


Lets learn from expireance folks. This time we will require people to secure their wireless power from the get go. If you fail to secure it then the law should consider it an open invite for people to help themselves.

Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850966)

and they clamped down on him.

This time no big-money interest is going to hamper it ? whats the catch ?

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851022)

They have the choke hold, the saw that they could keep wireless networking from becoming free in cities, saying it's unconstitutional or some BS like that, so now they realize "Hey, we can do that with power too!"

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851064)

i dont get it ?

So wireless networking was bad for their agenda, and they tried to bar it, but they are touting wireless power ?

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851124)

people who wanted to make power a profitable market would have prevented wireless early on because they couldn't control it, and it might lead to government producing it as a tax-based service (much like many places have trash pickup "free" because it is payed for by taxes).

Very recently, cities tried to do wireless free, lots of ISPs complained, and stopped them.

At this point, if I were a power company, I drop the resistance to wireless power tech at this point - it's really the same concept as wireless networking - a service is being provided that is hard to control, and therefor would fall into the hands of the government, since others have "prooven" this unconstitutional, they can then keep the government from interfearing with our busines.

The wireless internet thing pretty much opened the gates for this. Do you think after 100 years time, this is anything resembling coincidence in how close these events have happened?

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851228)

so you say in 100 years time or shorter noone will resist wireless internet and power ? is that it ?

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851366)

huh?

I am saying this is why they aren't resisting it now, they companies providing the services know they can keep control of it.

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851052)

The BBC article mentioned Tesla (and that the tech is old).

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (4, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851116)

This is using frequency resonation, Tesla's system didn't.

Think about it this way.

Lets use sound.. Lets say I make a crystal that vibrates at an exact sound frequency, I can make that frequency sound causing no harm to anyone but that crystal, which will vibrate, and potentially break with intense exposure to the sound. Now of course making a sound intense enough to to shatter the crystal and at the same time cause no harm to ones ears is difficult but its possible.

Now do this with electromagnetic waves. The real trick is figuring out how not to waste energy pumping it out in all directions. But its about as dangerous as me sitting here 1000 feet from a major radio broadcast station.....

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851190)

well, but what about the possibilities ? is it impossible that there would be stuff that might be affected by related wavelengths in our body, or our environment, or critical apps, like flight instruments medical instruments etc ?

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851314)

These are things that should (but probably won't) be studied before deploying these systems.

Re:Tesla ALREADY did it 100 years ago ? so ? (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851200)

I only know of Tesla due to the mention in the article, and a minute or so on Wiki.

This is quite different application of the same tech. It has a range of 5 metres, it would be installed into your home. Not used to delivery power to your home (like the Wardenclyffe Tower).

laptops and MP3 players? (2, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850970)

Now I know you haven't seen the rats nest behind my desk, but 3 computers (only one a notebook), a PS2, monitor, KVM, Hub, printer, associated power strips, Nintendo DS plug and MP3 player plug... I assure you, I would not just use this for my laptop and MP3 player. I have way too many wires, and if I could remove a dozen or so of them, it'd help a lot. Add wireless networking to the mix, and wireless speakers, and it just might be manageable again... And yes, I know both of those already exist.

Re:laptops and MP3 players? (2, Funny)

dscx (230411) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851018)

All that hardware, and a rats nest too? You sure keep a busy office...

Re:laptops and MP3 players? (2, Funny)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851056)

lol.

Rats are awsome critters, very friendly and social. I finally got them to stop gnawing on my feet. I even still have three toes left!

Suggested Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16850974)

I'll just file that with the "wheresmyflyingcar" tag.

Re:Suggested Tag (2, Insightful)

ribuck (943217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851152)

Particularly as TFA clearly says "the team has not built and tested a system".

Re:Suggested Tag (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851254)

But flying cars have been built.

Refined old tech? (0, Redundant)

fostware (551290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850986)

Are they refining mini Telsa coils?

Bout fricken' time ^_^

Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851002)

Didn't Tesla have plans to provide power via wireless nearly 100 years ago? He was doing some very strange things with HF and high voltage. Here is an article about his work: http://www.tfcbooks.com/articles/tws8c.htm [tfcbooks.com]


Also, how about zero point fields? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy [wikipedia.org] and http://www.calphysics.org/zpe.html [calphysics.org]

Re:Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851084)

What is news here is that physicists are talking about this. Not the wingnut science-ignorant zero-point crowd.

Cancer growth ? (1, Troll)

Skaber (1017606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851004)

What kind of effects this could have of on the human body ?
Aren't we already exposed to too many radiations ?

Re:Cancer growth ? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851384)

We're exposed to plenty of radiation every day - you want a real scare? Point a geiger counter at some concrete sidewalk. The thing is, unless its ionizing radiation [wikipedia.org] , you have nothing (or close to nothing) to worry about.

Great (5, Funny)

Frankie_CWRU (711904) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851014)

now the people driving around in vans stealing my wireless don't even have to stop to recharge their laptops.

Re:Great (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851352)

I already have a power converter in my van, so you're stuck no matter what you do...

wouldn't this (3, Interesting)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851020)

be best suited for low power applications. Charging a cell phone or palm pilot for example. I mean, I don't see this working for my 500watt computer or my xbox 360. It might charge the controller for my 360, but it would really only get rid of maybe 2 cables behind my computer.

Sonic Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851100)

Its all funny stuff until you pickup that SonicCare toothbrush in the morning. Say, that there is wireless power. Tell Jed to stop digging we have black gold right in the bathroom.

Re:Sonic Care (1)

pulgabm89 (851427) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851170)

Damn, I have one of those... hehe... it's so awesome ^^ It's always a cool thing to brush your teeth with something different.

What about... (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851112)

...sailboats & solar panels?

Re:What about... (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851194)

...sailboats & solar panels?

What about them????? Or are we talking about a possible use for the technology. That would be an excellent idea. I know I was told about someone who created turbines that would work in the ocean. Only problem was how do you transmit the energy because you'd need wires a few feet wide.

Am I missing the point here... (1)

pulgabm89 (851427) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851138)

or is this some sort of joke? If we consider how electricity is generated at power plants, this can be perfectly achieved in a very similar way. High school physics? :-) We all know that the restrictions on projects like this involve not only the scientific side of it, but, also, the concerns of people who don't fully understand it or, even, fear it. Does this remind any of you of how biotechnology has evolved and generated a considerable amount of uncertainty? Even cell phones are proved to cause cancer... Duh, can someone explain to me why they say it's not radioactive? This does not make any sense.

Re:Am I missing the point here... (5, Informative)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851602)

Even cell phones are proved to cause cancer...

No, they're not. Cellular phones don't emit ionizing radiation, all their communications happen in the microwave band. This is not powerful enough to cause cell damage on its own. The thermal effects raise cell temperature a fraction of a degree on the surface of the head (an order of magnitude less than the change experienced by standing in sunlight), and the non-thermal effects show no rigorous evidence of genetic damage. Now, near a base station, the situation is a little different, but don't try to scare John Q. Citizen with unfounded FUD about cellular phones causing cancer.

More info here [wikipedia.org] .

IPT (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851142)

As vaguely mentioned in the article ("A UK company called Splashpower has also designed wire-less recharging pads"), IPT or Inductive Power Transfer http://www.ferret.com.au/articles/f9/0c01c3f9.asp [ferret.com.au] is already a lot more mature and far more on the way to reaching consumers than this technology which has yet to reach prototype stage so I fail to see the significance.

6.4Mhz - Oh Dear. (4, Informative)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851160)

This thing is supposed to transmit at 6.4MHz. Searching for 6.4Mhz on Google brings back many many links about devices for which that frequency is important. And we wouldn't just be talking about a little bit of radio interference. This would be high power interference.

Re:6.4Mhz - Oh Dear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851598)

Specifically of interst is that it appears that 6.4MHZ is a major component of the docis 2.0 standard. .. careful this tech might blow up your cable modem!!! AHHHHH...

JP Morgan to Tesla (1)

hedleyroos (817147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851164)

"Where can I put the meter?"

And so it failed. Apparently.

i'll be holding my breath (1)

sir 8ed (207862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851166)

I am still waiting on my flying car.

Hold your breath no longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851532)

... here is your flying car! [thedukesofhazzard.net]

while you guys are at it... (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851202)

tesla promised not only wireless power, but also death ray. could you make sure you deliver that to?

thanks!

signed,

technology historians for the realization of past promises

ps: don't think we've forgotten about those rocket cars mr. popular science!

Delivering power has never been the problem... (1)

bcarl314 (804900) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851204)

The ability to deliver wireless electricity has been known decades. The big problem has been how to determine who uses what. I believe Tesla proposed a huge power generator that could be used to power all the electricity needs of a city wirelessly. His idea was, of course, shot down because no one knew who to charge for what.

Re:Delivering power has never been the problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851446)

The ability to deliver wireless electricity has been known decades.

As has swan powered lunar travel. Think of all the money we could have saved if it hadn't been for the corporate conspiracy to use rockets instead.

More Info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851218)

Here's a Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] detailing the original attempts by Nikola Tesla to acheive this.

Dateline 2006 (2, Funny)

lordmoose (696738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851234)

This amazing new "wire-less" technology is the all the rage to-day.

Theoretically speaking (5, Interesting)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851246)

What would happen if these were used on highways to power electric cars? Batteries still only return a tenth of the energy put into charging them, so directly conveying power to automobiles would be interesting indeed.

Re:Theoretically speaking (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851436)

I suspect we'd be bankrupt, as tearing up every street, road, and highway in the country to bury the transmitters is going to be a fairly expensive proposition...

Re:Theoretically speaking (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851448)

But what with doppler effect? And don't say it's dismissible. 4g phones have already such data transfer speeds, that projectants must account for moving. When you have to tune your receiving and sending antenna, moving to or from sending antenna will cause detuning.

Re:Theoretically speaking (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851456)


Or perhaps trains or trams. Do away with the need to have some part of the train/tram in connection with a live electrical connector and there might be speed, maintenance and possibly noise benefits to future designs. It's certainly an interesting area for research.

     

Re:Theoretically speaking (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851470)

The electromagnetic radiation being used isn't directed, so it would dissipate very quickly. I expect this would waste a lot of energy over short distances for handheld electronics, but it would be totally infeasible for cars.

Yey.. tesla did this, many many years ago (2, Interesting)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851268)

Nothin new hear really. remember Tesla's dream? Free wireless power. The Huge facility at colorado springs did just that.
The only wireless energy source transmission I've seen so far is with RFID tags. have you ever taken one apart? Chek out the
antennea.. much like the tesla antennea.

How come the radio station threatened me with jail (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851276)

They were beaming me wireless power , other people just didnt have enough antenea's all they could get was music.

So, i install such a thing at my home. (1)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851284)

And then i'm happy because all the cables of computers, external drives, routers, switches, printer and so on are gone. But how the hell do i secure the wireless "power line"? Any close neighbour could steal my wireless energy. It's the same problem with wireless lan, but the difference is that i cannot encrpyt "energy waves", everybody could join that energy network.

April Fools! (3, Informative)

RobertNotBob (597987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851286)

This was one of Think Geek's April Folls jokes earlier this year.

.

I guess truth CAN be stranger than fiction.

.

Isn't this what RFID does .... (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851288)

.. or maybe they are just very small batteries ...

Standards needed (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851312)

If this works, we need to define a standard resonance frequency NOW. I, for one, don't need a repeat of the wall wart debacle where every device needs its own charger.

What's the frequency, Kenneth? (1)

saintory (944644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851330)

I wonder why they chose the 6.4 MHz frequency. Looking through Google for 6.4 MHz [google.com] , the third hit [donberg.ie] brings me to Quartz Oscillators that operate on that frequency. Looking at Quartz Crystal in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] I can see talk about how to calculate the Q value as:

1.6E7/f, where f is the frequency.
6.4MHz fits nicely into this, yielding a Q of 2.5. Are there any engineers out there that can further explain why they might have used this frequency (e.g., plentitude of parts)?

nothing new (1)

cucucu (953756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851348)

Isn't light "wireless power"? The earth is being wireless powered by the Sun thousands of years now. Every kind of energy we use is ultimately Solar energy. Except for nuclear energy - but that doesn't count if it's for civilian purposes.

WOAH!! (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851390)

Imagine the Xbox 360 on wireless power supply... scary!

interesting possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851392)

...should the actual devices work.

Power for devices could be from a single power antenna on the wall of the room, or in the desk surface.

My cellphone could pull power from my car when I'm in the car, from the desk when I'm at the office, etc.

Truly wireless speakers/TVs would be possible - just hang them on the wall within range of the power antenna!

I, For One... (3, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851394)

...welcome our new tumor causing overlords!

Microscopic gods.... (4, Interesting)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851420)

This sounds so much like one of the first Sci Fi books I ever read in high school called, "Microscopic gods" (or was it "Microcosmic gods"?) -- I think it was. A scientist creates microscopic evolution. He keeps experimenting, forcing "stresses" on the creatures to make them evolve. They eventually become sentient, intelligent, creative. To fund his research he invents wireless power. A congressman hooks up with him and uses subterfuge to wrist the new power invention from him. Meanwhile, his microscopic gods keep evolving until they are more advanced than the scientist himself. They refer to him as their "father" or "god" or something. The congressman sends in the military, using the wireless power, to take over the scientist's lab and even washington I think. The scientist sends a request to his creatures to invent an invulnerable forcefield to withstand the attack. They do so, but make it only big enough to cover their little area. He cannot contact them. They send him a -- for the first time ever -- message humbly asking if the parameters were right since they suspected he could not reach them. They also provide the means for him to communicate back. He tells them to increase the size to cover his island and they do. All the planes using the wireless power to take over the country crash, and senator is fouled and the scientist lives happily ever after in his grey, dome, shelled, island with his little gods. The story ends stating the military continues to use the dome for target practice....

Well, ain't that something? (1)

tehtest (995812) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851432)

I for one embrace our wirelessly powered robot overlords.

moD dOwn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851444)

*BSD has lo

We now have DeKalb receptors! (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851466)

And it won't be long before we get a Waldo [wikipedia.org] who can show us all how to get power for free! My Evil Plans will no longer require a gigawatt power source! Bwahaha!

another article (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851476)

<plug>MIT Technology Review has another article [technologyreview.com] </plug>

How will this affect pacemakers? (1)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851534)

My father has a pacemaker. Those things are _very_ sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. I don't want to give him another heart attack each time I charge my cell phone.

wireless power omgomg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16851566)

omgomgomg

You Call this News? (1)

jlf278 (1022347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851594)

I buy a couple of these every year: http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/wec.shtml [thinkgeek.com]

I think the only reason most people don't have one is because they're only on sale April 1st of each year. Now isn't that odd? Hmm, maybe I should submit that to /.

Air/people transformer (1)

bcmbyte (996126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851604)

Sounds like a large "air/people core" transformer to me. I am not sure if I like the idea of RF energy in my work/home. One the plus side I bet it will drive away any bugs.

Heinlein said this was a bad idea... (1)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851614)

Not sure where the old man would stand on it now that we have wireless everything else...

I'm off to check which story it was.

kulakovich

hmm (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 7 years ago | (#16851644)

I worked with a guy 4 years ago that was developing this. I have seen it work and it is cool. One of his backers asked me what I though it could be used for and I began listing all kinds of stuff at a n office. No need for anything to plug into the wall. It really was cool. Although with his, and the frequency that he was using, you just needed to set your cell phone within 2 feet of the transmitter. Come back a couple of hours later and the phone was charged.

In all honesty this really is old news. Nicola Tesla [wikipedia.org] had this stuff working in the early 1900's
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