By Diana Zelikman, Fueled
Technology and how we use it in our everyday lives is quickly changing. How many of our young children, or even Generation Z, will know what things like cassette tapes or flip phones were?
Things are changing and developing at WiTricity too, where even how we charge our devices and power the future is set to change. Within the next few years, “your kids won’t know what plug in means” will be something we’ll all be saying to each other often.
We wanted to look into the matter further and see where wireless charging was headed. What exactly is WiTricity doing to revolutionize the way we access electricity?
The history of electricity
But first, let’s take a brief look back over the history of electricity. The origins of electricity can be traced back as far as 1600, when William Gilbert published a book about electricity and magnetism. He coined the expression “electrica” and was responsible for raising interest in the science of electricity.
The first electric generator was invented in 1660 by Otto von Guericke. Years later, in 1729, Stephen Gray discovered the principle of the conduction of electricity. Soon after in 1733, Charles Francois du Fay found that electricity comes in two different forms, called resinous, negative, and vitreous, positive.
In 1745, the Leyden jar was created by Dutch physicist Pieter van Musschenbroek; it’s a device that stores and releases an electrical charge. The most recent and well known development was Benjamin Franklin’s discovery that lightning bolts were actually electric currents which lead the invention of lightning rods and light bulbs.
Now that we’ve covered all of our important historical bases, let’s take a leap into what the future has in store for how we access electricity.
Dr. Katie Hall, Chief Technology Officer at WiTricity, stated in a recent interview with CNN, “We’re going to transfer power without any kind of wires.” WiTricity is a startup that’s been developing wireless “resonance” technology that puts magnetic fields in the air to power light bulbs and other electrical devices – no wires required.
How it Works
A “source resonator” is used to generate a magnetic field once power is attached to it. The resonator is made out of a coil of electrical wire.
The aim is to bring another coil close by so that an electrical charge can be generated, no wires necessary.
Then, by simply bringing a device into the magnetic field, power is transferred to the device and gives it power. The magnetic field induces a current in the device.
The future certainly looks bright. Dr. Hall feels that this type of technology will best for athome use and is reassuring that the magnetic fields are safe, as she goes on to say, “…in fact, they are the same kind of fields used in Wi-Fi routers.”
Sometime in the future, homes could have electricity that is just as accessible as wireless internet.
WiTricity is aiming for more than that, though. It’s their hope that as people wander around their smart devices will charge in their pockets or handbags, TVs will work without wires and electric cars will no longer need to be ‘plugged in’ but will simply ‘refuel’ while sitting in the driveway.
Exciting things are happening to change the way we access electricity to power our appliances and devices. Our children won’t experience access to electricity the way we currently do.