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2015: The year of wireless power?

2015-02-04 Hits: 3701 Category:

Article Image PreviewThe potential of wireless charging created great excitement when it first came to prominence in 2007 when two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) successfully powered a 60-watt light bulb wirelessly, using two copper coils two metres apart.

They went on to create Witricity, a company devoted to the technology. Since then expectations over wireless charging have proven over-inflated.

The tech has so far failed to gain any traction with consumers: it has been blighted by a lack of a common standard, as well as resistance from device makers who have not seen the benefits as compelling enough to build directly into handsets.

Witricity believes 2015 may be a breakthrough for its "magnetic resonance" method, as it can transmit power as far as several feet and through surfaces like wood and cement.

And the Japanese car giant Toyota - which made an early investment in Witricity - now plans to introduce wireless charging in the 2017 Prius.

But is wireless charging ready for primetime? The BBC's North America technology correspondent Richard Taylor was given a demo of the wireless innovations from Witricity's Grant Reig.

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