Visualize a world where there is no longer a need to plug a wire into a device. Imagine having your car charge itself while driving to work everyday. Dream of being able to have your life-saving heart pump power itself automatically. All of these innovative ideas can be possible by the power of inductive charging. Although wireless power has been around for a few decades, it was not until recently that it began to gain ground in today’s world. Whether it is watching your favorite T.V. show, streaming music from a phone, or using Wi-Fi in your home, most electronic devices are optimized and utilize the advantages of wireless technologies.
As time quickly passes by, technology morphs into items we cannot live without. An honorable mention is the use of smartphones. Although they are called “smart”, one thing that most share is a lack of battery life. As of November 30, 2012, the top 20 smartphones with the longest lifespan has an average of 11 hours of battery life (Cell Phone). Although 11 hours seems to be enough to last a full day, it is not depending on what applications a user is utilizing and for how long. By using wireless charging, an individual no longer needs to plug wires into their gadgets anymore. All that is needed is a Qi (pronounced chee) compatible device and an inductive wireless charger (Gahran). Although the charger needs to be plugged into an outlet, a research group known as WiTricity, led by MIT Prof. Marin Soljacic, is working on a true wireless way of powering a device by using magnetic resonance. It is done by transmitting electricity through a batch of conductive coils. By the end of the decade, individuals will be able to charge their devices by walking into a room using WiTricity’s wireless charging. It will also be of great use in automobiles and in medical products like pacemakers and ear implants (Markowitz).
The way people drive today will be effectively different in the future for a few different reasons;
the first being the type of fuel an automobile will use. Most likely, cars that use electricity like the Tesla Model S will become very common on roads in the future. Since it uses electricity, the Model S can charge its batteries in as little as one hour by using a Supercharger station (MacKenzie). Although it may seem that one-hour is a very fast time to power an electric car, it is not quick enough. A way to alleviate the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle is to make it Qi capable and to put charging panels inside the road. Researchers at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have done this exact thing to a public bus. They designed the bus to be able to charge its battery while it is driving on the inductive panels installed on the specialty-constructed road. (Kelion, “South Korea”). Now of course this technology needs to be looked into further in order to achieve its full potential, but we are able to have a glimpse of it through the Formula E Racing...