Sony tackle the final wireless hurdle, the power cable

Wireless technology is wonderful. No longer do we have to lace our houses with wires to set up internet connections, or tangle up our gaming spaces with controllers that come with long bits of cord. Despite these huge leaps in technology made in recent years, we still depend upon wires for the most important part of an electronical device, the power.

Sony announced on Friday that it had been developing a power system to activate devices wirelessly. The gizmo has already successfully powered a 22 inch LCD TV from 50 centimetres away by sending out a conventional 100 volt electricity supply. Could it be that years from now, we don’t even need the power cable to flick our systems on anymore?

Now I’m not going to pretend I know what I’m talking about here, but this is all down to magnetic resonance. There’s a primary coil, 40 cm across that had the power fed into it, which produces a magnetic field. A secondary coil is then introduced into the field that causes a current to be induced, thus the electricity transfer is complete. Still with me?

At this stage in development, the device has obvious setbacks; with only the short distance of 50 cm covered (although apparently the distance can be increased up to 80 cm with the use of passive relay units). Furthermore, the device operates at an 80% efficiency rate, wasting the other 20% of power fed into it. With this and further losses in the process of getting the power to the TV, only around 60 watts made their way through the system.

Still, the device is clearly in very early stages, and we won’t see it commercialized or available for a good long time. When we do however, it could free up our consoles a whole lot more.

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