True Wireless Power Transmission is a Disney Reality

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Wireless power transmission is something that engineers have been dreaming about for many decades now, but none has managed to bring their visions to fruition. From the great Nikola Tesla’s wireless lighting lamps to today’s “wireless” charging pads for smartphones, the implementation of wireless power systems has been severely limited in both range and application. Disney Research which is a part of the Walt Disney Company has managed to lift these limitations as they recently presented a specially built room that can charge or power devices no matter their position in the room.

The technology that enables this feat is called “quasi-static cavity resonance” (QSCR) and it involves the generation of near-field standing magnetic waves that fill the whole room without compromising the health of the people who are present there. More specifically, the tests performed by Disney Research have shown that it is possible to transmit up to 1900 watts of power while staying below the safety limits. This amount of power is enough to charge about 320 smartphones simultaneously, so it is more than enough to cover the common household needs. Imagine things like remote controls, tablets, laptops, TVs, speakers, and even refrigerators needing no charging, batteries, or corded connection to a plug.

The trick relies on the use of metalized walls, floors and ceilings, and a central copper column which contains capacitors. All these elements cooperatively help in the generation of the required magnetic waves that cover the small 5×5 meter room. Researchers believe that the same effects and performance can be achieved with the use of less drastic tools and elements such as by painting the walls with conductive paint, and/or installing modular panels in key positions around the house. That said, retrofitting the existing houses to provide their inhabitants with the miracle of wireless energy transmission is now perfectly possible.

The actual report that was published only three days ago demonstrates the simultaneous experimental powering of three lamps, an LED sphere, a mobile phone, an RC car, a fan, and three LED coils. The researchers have confirmed that the low frequency used in the inductive system didn’t interact with the rest of the materials in the room, didn’t heat them up, and didn’t affect them in any chemical way. That said, the system looks like it is working as intended and as expected, it seems to be safe, and it will hopefully be ready for the market soon. Of course, a system like this one will greatly affect the sales of batteries, so this is a case of conflicting interests that may possibly delay the release and adoption of systems of this kind for a number of reasons. Let’s hope that this will not be the case here.

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I'm an engineer with a passion for writing about new technologies and the ways they shape our world and amplify our very existence.