Saturday, December 19, 2009

This is bound to impact your life in the not-so-distant future

Everyone likes to imagine 'the future'. Generally, this results in low-quality science fiction with flying cars, impossibly great technology in unrealistic formats, etc. But every once in a while I see something and think to myself, "This could really change the way we live."

Cellphones are one such item. I get so tickled now when I watch the old Commando film, and the bad guy is running from "Ah-nuld," looking for a payphone, where he is desperately hunting for a quarter to make a phone call. That scene couldn't possibly work today. Then there were pagers. But now, I regularly hear about people's 9 year olds getting their own cell phones. Many of my friends don't even have home phones anymore.

On a side note, I'm still convinced that pocket projectors will potentially have a big impact as they continue to be more affordable.

But now for the latest...

I've been hearing for a while that scientists were getting very, very close to developing wireless charging technology for devices.

At this point, as I understand it, the issue is no longer how much people can fit into a small device, but rather, how can we find better ways to power the devices? Batteries are getting some better, but they still cannot sustain most devices for extended periods of time.

This Powermat is a step in what I consider a likely future for our electronic devices. If we can't find a better way to make a battery, we can at least find a better way to recharge them. There is already technology to make recharges much faster than they used to be, but I think an even better direction will be if they can develop more advanced wireless charging technology.

It appears with the Powermat that you have to purchase the mat, which distributes the charge, and a receiver for each object you want to enable to receive the charge. You receive the charge by laying the device on the mat, without any need for wires.

It looks cool, but I think before too long they will get better at actually sending out a signal, more similar to a wireless router, so that devices within the general proximity which are capable of being charged wirelessly will automatically receive the charging signal. While you sit at your desk, or even talk on your phone, when you are close to the recharging dock, your phone will begin recharging without you even having to think about it. I imagine people pushing for access to recharging in a way similar to how people now push for their to be numerous public wifi hotspots.

I see this as pragmatic enough to warrant the money and time that will have to be spent to continue the development. I don't see any reason why I would ever need a flying car, but for my electronics to recharge without any need for cords and cables? That would be worth having, even if it had a bit of a hefty price tag.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of this product. We actually featured it in the January issue of Inventors Digest. The main negative for me is the cost (you have to purchase receivers for each type of item you own), but I think at some point the price will lower and this type of recharging station will become the norm.