A Korean group of scientists just improved on a 2007 wireless power technology known as WiTricity. The new system is a Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS), and increases the distance that items can be charged to over 15 feet. So, when can we get our hands on one?
Long-distance wireless power is not ready for prime time
The latest DCRS power, as well as many other forms of long-distance wireless, is in its infancy. DCRS consists of two 10-foot-long boxes on either side of a room. It’s not yet something that is ready to be packaged and shipped to homes across America and the rest of the world. Other new technologies, such as Wi-Fi and satellite power, are still too large to be included in devices and made portable. There is still years worth of research to do.
There is little agreement on infrastructure
With so many different companies working on so many different forms of wireless power, there is no clear path to a formal infrastructure for the future. Wireless power may wind up becoming split between many formats. Gumi, South Korea uses regular grid power to keep their electric buses going with wireless power, but the power comes from electrical wires laid under the street. That technology is different from DCRS, which is different from Wi-Fi power, which is different from many other wireless power technologies being researched by many other companies. Unless organizations such as the Wireless Power Consortium can convince companies to make their devices and infrastructure compatible, wireless power options could become confusing.
How will energy companies react to Wi-Fi and satellite power?
Some energy companies, such as Southern California Edison, are already considering ways of recovering the profit lost due to solar panels on individual homes. While satellite power looks to be the most promising form of power, energy companies may have the power to charge for conventional power that is never used. Customers may still have to pay for satellite or Wi-Fi power from other agencies that provide it, possibly having to pay more just to go wireless.
Is it safe?
There hasn’t yet been any test on the long term effects of these technologies. Researchers are still unsure whether cell phones cause brain cancer, so imagine what a whole new crop of wireless devices may do. Even if individual devices are deemed as safe, a constant barrage of varying forms of wireless power filling your house and neighborhood may not be so safe when combined. That type of situation will be very difficult to test before it’s too late, and the entire infrastructure has already changed.