Remember how you used to have to plug in the internet cord to get online? And then one day, you didn’t need to anymore because your laptop started magically connecting to the internet through the ether. That same thing is about to happen to electricity.
More than a hundred years ago Nikola Tesla embarked on a quest for wireless electricity, and these days (or should I say currently), researchers at MIT are very close to bringing that dream to life. In the near future, you can say good bye to wires and flat batteries.
Back in 2007, an MIT team managed to wirelessly power a light bulb at a distance of two meters. Using a technique they named Resonant Energy Transfer, they were able to “beam” electricity through the air. The concept is similar to that of induction stoves, which also is a wireless transfer of energy through use of the magnetic field, but obviously that electricity doesn’t travel very far. What’s different about RET is that it stretches the distance between power emitter and receiver, in this case up to a couple meters.
Research progress with RET is accelerating, a Witricity company has launched, and soon this technology will greatly improve our everyday lives.