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Wireless electricity? It's here

By Nick Glass and Matthew Ponsford, CNN
Updated 12:23 PM ET, Fri March 28, 2014


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A world without wires 03:51

Story highlights

Katie Hall was shocked the second she saw it: a light-bulb
glowing in the middle of a room with no wires attached.

Dr Katie Hall is developing ways to transfer

power without wires

Looking back, it was a crude experiment, she remembers: a

tiny room lled with gigantic copper refrigerator coils -- the kind
you'd see if you cracked open the back of your freezer.

In the home of the future, wireless energy will

be as common as Wi-Fi, she believes

She walked in and out between the coils and the bulb -- and
still the bulb glowed.

The technology could lead to new and

revolutionary medical devices

developing wireless "resonance" technology.

"I said: 'Let's work on this. This is the future.'"

What's the trick?
"We're going to transfer power without any kind of wires," says
Dr Hall, now Chief Technology Ocer at WiTricity, a startup

"But, we're not actually putting electricity in the air. What we're doing is putting a magnetic eld in the air."
It works like this: WiTricity builds a "Source Resonator," a coil of electrical wire that generates a magnetic eld
when power is attached.
If another coil is brought close, an electrical charge

can be generated in it. No wires required.




If another coil is brought close, an electrical charge can be generated in it. No wires required.
"When you bring a device into that magnetic eld, it induces a
current in the device, and by that you're able to transfer
power," explains Dr Hall.

And like that, the bulb lights up.

Wireless homes
Don't worry about getting zapped: Hall assures that the
magnetic elds used to transfer energy are "perfectly safe" -in fact, they are the same kind of elds used in Wi-Fi routers.

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In the house of the future, wire-free energy transfer could be

as easy as wireless internet.
If all goes to WiTricity's plans, smartphones will charge in your
pocket as you wander around, televisions will icker with no
wires attached, and electric cars will refuel while sitting on the
WiTricity has already demonstrated the ability to power
laptops, cell-phones, and TVs by attaching resonator coils to
batteries -- and an electric car refueler is reportedly in the

Hall sees
a bright
for the
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of family without
"We just don't think about it anymore: I'm going to drive my

car home and I'm never going to have to go to the gas station
and I'm never going to have to plug it in.
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"I can't even imagine how things will change when we live like
World outside
Beyond these eort-saving applications, Hall sees more
revolutionary steps.

When Hall rst saw the wireless bulb, she immediately

thought of medical technology -- seeing that devices
transplanted beneath the skin could be charged nonintrusively.
WiTricity is now working with a medical company to recharge
a left-ventricular assist device -- "a heart-pump, essentially."

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brand new functionality."

What's next?

The technology opens the door to any number of mobile

electronic devices which have so far been held back by
limited battery lives.
"The idea of eliminating cables would allow us to re-design
things in ways that we haven't yet thought of, that's just going
to make our devices and everything that we interact with, that
much more ecient, more practical and maybe even give




What's next?
The challenge now is increasing the distance that power can be transferred eciently. This distance -- Hall
explains -- is linked to the size of the coil, and WiTricity wants to perfect the same long-distance transfers to
today's small-scale devices.
For this reason, the team have high hopes for their new creation: AA-sized wirelessly rechargeable batteries.
For Hall, the applications are endless: "I always say kids will say: 'Why is it called wireless?'"
"The kids that are growing up in a couple of years will never have to plug anything in again to charge it."
*UPDATE (March 17)
It's great to see so much discussion of this technology on social media and the comments thread.
There seems to be a lot of interest in the contribution of Nikola Tesla's experiments to the development of this
technology. Dr Hall discussed Tesla briey in her interview with Nick Glass:

Nick Glass: Given that Tesla and others realized all this over a Century ago, why's it taken so long?
Dr Hall: I don't think they realized exactly what we've done. They were certainly dreaming of wireless power -there's no question about that. In those days, it was a dierent problem, because they were really thinking about:
how do they get the power from where it's generated to where it's used. And in that case they might have been
thinking about Niagara Falls generating the power and getting it to New York City -- and that's a long distance.
We're not proposing that the technology we have here at WiTricity would be used for that kind of application.
When we came around, power's already being transferred by wires to homes and rooms and things of that nature,
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so we had a much dierent problem, which was really just this much shorter distance.


As WiTricity has mentioned on its website, its Highly Resonant Wireless Power Transfer technology is also distinct
from Tesla's creations -- and is ecient enough to be economically viable.
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SchwarzMirkoO Apr 26, 2016

Sounds Awesome but needs a lot of work:

1) My neighbor might have the Chance to use my Energy

2) Energy Costs might go incredible High because it seems to me like even if its not used its running and not
100% ecient
3) Electrician willface harder Tasks and need to be a lot more educated

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But this Product might realize the Vision of Berlins Public Transportation - Too Charge Electric Busses Wireless
while Stops

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Joab Odera Nov 9, 2015

The work is quite exciting! This work proves that Nikola Tesla was Right! it is possible to conduct wireless
electricity. I hope he receives more recognition
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TradeCerts May 15, 2015

I love wireless, its not quite easy as explained as the installation is quite dicult but it is the best technology




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Ava Laurie Apr 8, 2015

I have heard of this technology before a couple of years ago. It was dierent in the fact that they were wanting
to use lasers to transfer the energy. I'm sure there probably was a lot of risks with that idea. This one actually
sounds a lot safer. http://electricalchristiansburgva.com/Industrial-Equipment-Installation-Christiansburg

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James Lisbon Mar 13, 2015

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That is crazy
to think that there could be a day when we have electricity without wires. I wonder what that
would do the the electricians, and how they go about their work. It also seems like it could be viable, but it
would probably
Home depend on the circumstances. http://www.craftsmanelectricoh.com

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caseybjones Mar 4, 2015

That is really awesome information about the future of electrical work. Powering things wirelessly would be
really neat. It would give you so many more design options as well and make the work of electrical contractors
so much easier.
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Mari Lapointe Mar 6, 2015

@Casey Jones just remember that they "killed" Nik Tesla for coming up with the idea to freely
distribute electric power, which would have prevented Them from their plans to tie up the world in




electric powerlines tied to a big cash register at the Electric production source.
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Drew Swift Mar 18, 2015

@Casey Jones this is the past of electrical work, Nicola Tesla did it over 100 years ago
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lhdev Jan 25, 2015

There is another technology which is more ecient and has longer range, eye-safe laser based WPT
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28, 2015

@lhdev Yeah laser sounds much better. The problem with magnetic eld is that it will fry anything with
coils inside if you use it to power an entire house, plus I don't see how they can do this
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