Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wireless Power

I recently found an article on CNN which embodies innovation and thus is perfect for our class blog. The article, entitled “ A Cordless Future for Electricity” focused on the new technology of wireless electricity and how it could make the daily lives of the American consumer easier, much sooner than we might think. WiTricity, is the name of the company that is developing wireless electricity, which they say “has the potential to cute the need for power cords and throw-away batteries." These researchers have found a way to convert the electricity into a magnetic field and send it through the air, all without the use of a a wire. With the onset of wireless electricity, which MIT researchers predict will be available in one year, it will make the need for countless power cords and batteries slim to none.

The proponents of this wireless technology cite that it could be a great help to the environment by saving consumers from using millions of disposable batteries a year Additionally, it would make it easier for electric cars to gain popularity because people wouldn’t have to plug the cars up, but rather drive them on to a wireless power mat. However, as we’ve discussed in class, even though this technology could be revolutionary in terms of innovation, it could also be disruptive by ending the need for traditional batteries. If electronics consumers no longer need batteries to power their items, sales could drop significantly, and the battery industry could cease to exist as we know it. Many other products that used to rely on battery power might have to adapt in order to keep up with the current trends in technology. Something of this magnitude could potentially affect several industries and thousands of consumer products, especially if other companies try to develop their own wireless power. Then, the “era of ferment” that is characterized by "experimentation and competing ideas" will definitely ensue. Although, this wireless power seems so novel, it was interesting to note a quote by the CEO of WiTricity, Eric Giler, who said “Five years from now, this will seem completely normal.”

If you would like to read the article visit this link:

After reading the article give some thought to the possible advantages and disadvantages of such technology:

Given that this technology has been known of since 1890 and is still yet not available to the general public, do you think it could pose hazards to our health if not properly tested and hastily implemented like the Iridium phones?

Do you think that electric car sales would actually increase due to the availability of a wireless power source? What subsequent affect would this have on the traditional, gas powered, car sales and/or status of the current car industry?


  1. Interesting post! Before there’s a large market for electric cars, there obviously has to be an infrastructure for electric “charging stations,” where drivers could recharge their car batteries. In turn, the gas station industry would be disrupted and would be forced to remodel their stations to offer electric “charging”. How easily could Exxon, BP, and Shell, etc. do this?

  2. This is really pretty amazing. Although I'm not sure that it would be completely revolutionary move for electric cars (if I was in the market for a Tesla, I don't know that wireless charging capabilities would be the feature that would make me ultimately choose to buy), there is no doubt that this will hugely disrupt the personal electronics industry. I'd imagine Bluetooth devices would experience significant initial impact, given the fact that they all already have some sort of base device that could likely evolve to incorporate WiTricity. I hope this happens soon!

    Also, just because the electric car issue came up - interesting blurb on this blog, under the headline "How Much is Too Much:"