What's the Latest Development?
New inductive charging systems, which transfer electricity to objects like cell phones and cars without wires, are poised to enter the technology market en force. The first chargers will be geared toward portable electronics like cell phones and tablet computers. In the following years, they will be used to recharge electric car batteries and eventually to power heart pumps and other medical devices—all without wires. One company, Witricity, already has a multi-million dollar contract with a car manufacturer to develop wireless chargers for drivers' garages.
What's the Big Idea?
The idea of wireless electricity transfers is not new. The Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla demonstrated the idea a century ago. Currently, the principle is used to power devices like electric toothbrushes but the distance over which transfers can occur is very limited. Technology is progressing quickly, though. Researchers are designing a system to charge electric vehicles as they move. By embedding transmission coils in the roadway, electric cars could be powered up to reach successive charging coils a mile down the road...
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