sort of. A company called WildCharge has come up with a way to charge cellphones by setting them on top of a thin metal pad. BUT, that pad is plugged into an outlet, which is why I said “sort of”. The whole thing is called “inductive coupling”. Sounds kinda sexy.
Anyway, this article by Technology Review discusses the technology further and also highlights a few competitors such as a “plastic sheet of power” and wirelessly powered light bulbs. Obviously there are still kinks to work out, and the big thing is you need an adapter to make it work. For example, your cellphone must have a special cover that hooks into the battery for it to actually charge via the plate.
If this goes mainstream, I can imagine both good and bad consequences. Keep in mind people are trying to invent long-distance wireless electrical systems rather than just these close-contact units:
- You get to charge all your stuff wirelessly off just a few “outlets” instead of needing to have an outlet on every wall, in every office, and even in your car.
- There are already numerous competing methods, interfaces, adapters, etc. One of the biggest problems now is that every stinkin appliance and phone uses a different power plug. Why can’t my old Nokia charger just work with my new LG phone, or my printer plug work with my laptop? THAT’S the problem here!
- How do you control people from using YOUR electricity as it’s being projected wirelessly? Would every device require a passcode to allow it onto your power network?
What other pros and cons can you think of? Have you been exposed to this technology already? What’s your impression?