We live in an era of electrical wires and power cords, batteries large and small, chargers for all kinds of gadgets. All of these power our modern homes; however, the wires and batteries that power our lives also present hazards. Batteries leak chemicals into landfills and poison our environment. Curious pets and children risk electrocution. And let’s face it: the energy efficiency of electricity in this country isn’t anything to brag about. But what if we could eliminate these problems? What if we could rid our homes of wires and batteries? This what the startup company WiTricity aims to do.
WiTricity uses magnetic fields, just as Wi-Fi routers do, to transfer energy. Source resonators can power devices that use the WiTricity technology. Basically, a source resonator is “a coil of electrical wire that generates a magnetic field when power is attached.” When devices that use the same resonator technology are near the source resonator, the magnetic field “induces a current in the device.” There is no risk of electrocution here.
This technology won’t just be useful in the home; medical services will benefit as well. Devices under the skin that have a limited battery life can be charged non-intrusively. The batteries of electric wheelchairs would never need to be replaced, only recharged by a WiTricity source resonator. During surgical procedures or in intensive care units, vital organs can be monitored wirelessly.
There is so much potential for WiTricity: gas stations would be nearly eliminated if cars could be powered electrically and charged in people’s garages without wires. Phones, tablets, and laptops would never need charging accessories. A television could be mounted on the wall like a picture frame.
“WiTricity has already demonstrated the ability to power laptops, cell-phones, and TVs by attaching resonator coils to batteries,” and it is only a matter of time before other uses come to light.