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Holding


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Technology

Unplugged: Goodbye cables, hello energy beams


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LET'S face it: power cables are unsightly dust-traps. PCs, TVs and music players are becoming slicker every year, but the nest of vipers in the corner of every room remains an ugly impediment to true minimalism.

Then there is the inconvenience of charging phones, MP3 players and PDAs. A minor hassle, admittedly, but it is easy to forget to top up the batteries and before you know it you have left the house with a dead gadget. Wouldn't life be simpler if power was invisibly beamed to your devices whenever you walked into a building with an electricity supply? Wireless communication is ubiquitous, after all, so why can't we permanently unshackle our electronics from power cables too?

Poor transmission efficiencies and safety concerns have plagued attempts at wireless power transfer, but a handful of start-ups – and some big names, like Sony and Intel – are having another go at making it work. The last few years have seen promising demonstrations of cellphones, laptops and TVs being powered wirelessly. Are we on our way to waving goodbye to wires once and for all?


Read full article at www.NewScientist.com

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