It seems like everything that's wireless these days is called wi-something, including witricity. If I understand right, this stands for “wireless electricity”, which means wireless power transfer. Designers everywhere, from MIT to Intel, are busily devising methods to eliminate separate power cables for individual devices.
This makes me wonder: why wi?
In the first place, each of these cables is usually connected to a transformer in an AC adapter. Transformers are not exactly leading-edge technology. The earliest descriptions date back to Faraday in the early decades of the 19th century. If we look more closely at how a transformer works, we usually see a primary winding and a secondary winding fitted on a magnetic core. That’s wireless power transfer.
Now let's look at all the modern approaches to obtaining wireless power transfer. Basically, they all amount to reworking the transformer principle, with a primary coil and secondary coil coupled by magnetic induction. The only difference is that people are experimenting with different frequencies and using resonant coils. The last part also sounds a bit familiar – isn’t that how radio broadcasting works, with electromagnetic waves? And let's not forget Tesla, whose enormous Wardenclyffe project was intended to provide wireless power transmission.
So we already have wireless power, but it’s not enough to meet our needs, and furthermore it’s not very efficient. This brings me to my question for you this week: do you see a future for wireless power, or should we start thinking about new forms of power distribution, and what would they be?