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New Tech Could Revolutionize Wireless Charging

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Charge the whole home without a cord in sight.

The concept of wireless energy dispersal already exists, albeit only on the micro level. You can wirelessly charge your phone, for example, though usually only on special charging surfaces, which isn’t really wireless if you think about it. The real dream is having wireless charging that can work with anything that requires electricity. Imagine, every component of your computer desk running without a giant, dusty tangle of wires behind it. We don’t have that kind of tech yet, but thanks to a team of researchers at Aalto University, we’re definitely on the right track.

The researchers have developed a new kind of wireless charging tech that can send power to a receiver no matter where it is relative to the emitter. The trick is a large grid of positive and negative transmitters, arranged kind of like a chessboard, that can provide power to anything within its boundaries.

“The beauty of our method is that it’s very simple yet quite sophisticated,” Prasad Jayathurathnage, the postdoctoral researcher who led the project, said in a press release. “We don’t need a high-end processor or lots of computations to make the transmitters intelligent. At the end of the day, it’s all an electromagnetic system, and our approach was to figure out how we could detect the receiver’s presence and position electromagnetically.”

Any time a receiver is detected within the system’s boundaries, power will start flowing. Not only does this mean that multiple devices can be powered at the same time, but the devices could even be moved around without any loss of connection. The concept has already been successfully tested in a warehouse full of appliances, and barring commercial inspection and certification, is effectively already ready to go. If they can make this work with stationary home appliances, they may even be able to move on to wireless charging of electric vehicles.