Wireless Electricity at CES 2010

by Dave Logan


The idea of wireless electricity has been around as early as the late 1800s with Nikola Tesla’s revolutionary contributions. Today, he would be proud. At this year’s much anticipated 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, WiTricityâ„¢ demonstrated its impressive wireless electricity capabilities. Imagine a world where all objects and rooms would be “hot spots.” Imagine the ability to power your mobile phone, laptop, or other electronic device without being tethered to power cables. Imagine a world without the need for billions and billions of wires and batteries. Well, that world is pretty much here. Or at least not too far away.

For example, this year at CES, Chinese manufacturer Haier is demonstrating a 32-inch television that runs completely on WiTricity’s technology; all without any wires or cables. WiTricity uses magnetic resonators in both the device and the power source, and when the two resonators are tuned together, they can transmit electricity safely and efficiently.

Other CES exhibitors like PowerBeam are highlighting their own devices that use WiTricity. PowerBeam, for example, uses an invisible laser that is beamed across to a solar cell, converting the heat from the beam into enough usable electricity to power a set of small wireless speakers. Slick.

WiTricity was first showcased at last year’s CES, and while their technology isn't quite advanced enough to power larger electonics, that ability is certainly right around the corner. Or as WiTricity’s chief, Eric Giler states: “Five years from now this will seem completely normal.”