Photo via PLOS

This room will start charging your smartphone the moment you step inside

This is truly a future we need.

Mar 7, 2017, 8:10 am*

Tech

 

Phillip Tracy

Imagine your smartphone started charging the second you step through the front door of your home or office building.

That fantasy now seems more likely than ever thanks to Disney. 

Disney Researchers filled a room with electromagnetic waves capable of charging multiple devices without any wires. The incredible charging room is detailed in a research paper with the crystal clear title, “Quasistatic Cavity Resonance for Ubiquitous Wireless Power Transfer.”

The premise of the project is that wireless power delivery has the potential to charge electrical devices as easily as data is transmitted through the air, offering a more seamless solution to current setups that are limited to near contact distances and can’t offer un-aided charging. Charging pads and cradles are the current solutions to achieving “wireless charging,” but both methods need the gadget to be in contact with a charging device that is plugged into an outlet.

To achieve true wireless, the three researchers working on the project—Matthew Chabalko, Mohsen Shahmohammadi, and Alanson Sample—used quasistatic cavity resonance (QCR), or a technology that allows a container (room, warehouse, cabinets), to generate magnetic fields able to safely delivery kilowatts of power to mobile receivers.

The researchers probably knew people would find that a bit far-fetched, so they decided to try it out.

PLOS

The container in their demonstration is an aluminum room with a long copper pipe in the middle. In the center of the pipe are capacitors that set the electromagnetic frequency of the field and confine the electric fields. At the resonant frequency, currents travel up and down the pole at 1.3 million times per second through the ceiling, across the walls, along the floor, and back up the pole.

Magnetic current circulates around the pole at a strong enough level to power multiple devices that are outfitted with the appropriate receiver design.

The demonstration showed that a 54-meter cubed room can deliver power to devices in nearly any orientation with 40 percent to 95 percent efficiency.

The researchers believe this technology could be downsized to fit a charging box or scaled up for use in a warehouse setting. The room used in the demo was filled with furniture that did not affect the charging levels of the devices inside because of the frequencies in use.

There are certainly some concerns with the potential health effects of an electromagnetic room sending out watts of power through the air. The researchers found in a detailed safety analysis that 1,900 watts of power can be transmitted to a coil receiver for safe and ubiquitous wireless power. 

It will probably be a while (or never) before we see this technology installed in someone’s home or office building. For now, we can all dream of a day when we no longer have to remember to charge our devices on a daily basis, or even at all. 

H/T the Next Web

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2017, 5:47 pm