Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

Powering your electronic gadget wirelessly?

Posted by evolvingwheel on May 6, 2007

Scientists in Japan have come up with a plastic sheet which can power nearby electronic devices wirelessly! Now that is something very interesting. Actually, there are three points of interest. First, that power transmission happening wirelessly, then the charging of devices by proximity to the sheet accurately, and finally the development flexible or organic electronics. The news has been out for few months, but managed to catch my attention recently.

Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo has highlighted on several aspects of organic power generating sheet and its usability. His plastic sheets are dual layered with one layer identifying the location of the receiver device (cell phone, laptop, etc.)  and the other sheet driving the power towards the exact location and generating the electromagnetic induction. This development has numerous implications – both from organic electronics and easy accessibility to wireless power in substantial quantity. I feel that the development will promote several business ecosystem drivers that are currently in nascent states. For example, wireless power generation and Someya’s vision of having power generating drivers as infrastructure. 070423-11.jpg

If you could have office desks having organic power generating sheets embedded, then the usage of power outlets and power chords will fall dramatically. Now, there has to be large scale acceptance, usability advantages, and 100% accuracy and reliability to adapt this infrastructure mode. Besides, this mode requires the receiving device to have a specialized coil and a power-harvesting circuitry. If big promoters want to implement this technology in large scale to consumer devices, then there has to be a tie up both in research and commercialization. This tie up will address the reliability and mass scale production, licensing of the technology to gadget producers, and capital investment for infrastructure level implementation of the organic charger sheets.

[Read The Article]

Picture: A lamp powered by a table top made of the plastic. Courtesy – Gizmodo

P.S. There was a nice comment thread in the article that I responded to. May be a good point to consider:

Guest: I really think they should interweave a layer of some form of data transfer into this system so essentially you could move a monitor around and be able to get power and data at the same time… among millions of other things. You can already transfer data over electrical lines, so it might even be easier than that. This type of transferring system has massive potential. I think it was what they had in mind in Minority Report with the MagLev systems seen in this link. –> http://uplink.space.com/attachments/514680-Maglev2cb.JPG

Evolvingwheel: The proposition of data transfer along with power sounds promising.. however any innovation is controlled by demand, implementation ease, cost benefit, and competitive environment. There is enormous amount of data being transfered (or in the research level) wirelessly. Huge amount of capital investments are in place for 4G wireless and etc etc. Gigabit level transfer is hitting over the air.. through cell phones, wi-fi etc. Besides, gadgets are already now equipped with the facilities and there are industry standards in place. So getting data through a pad which is being developed with a electrical purpose will not be a easy sell.. So ideas are often not feasible in the context of market commercialization.

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