Friday, August 22, 2008

First Wi-fi, now wireless power

According to Intel, you may be able in the next few years to forgo wires all together.

Intel on Thursday showed off a wireless electric power system that analysts say could revolutionize modern life by freeing devices from transformers and wall outlets. ...
Electricity was sent wirelessly to a lamp on stage, lighting a 60 watt bulb that uses more power than a typical laptop computer.
Most importantly, the electricity was transmitted without zapping anything or anyone that got between the sending and receiving units.
"The trick with wireless power is not can you do it; it's can you do it safely and efficiently," Intel researcher Josh Smith said in an online video explaining the breakthrough.
"It turns out the human body is not affected by magnetic fields; it is affected by elective fields. So what we are doing is transmitting energy using the magnetic field not the electric field."

However, this last line concerns me a little, "the human body is not affected by magnetic fields." This is not true. If this were the case, our fancy imaging machines (MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging) would be of little use. It may be that magnetic fields have not detrimental affect on the human body, but we never generated tons of man-made magnetic fields and sent it traveling amongst our city. This technology appears fantastic but like ever new venture we make into life altering technology our excitement needs to be tamed by caution.

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