Friday, 22 August 2008
Wireless power again!
So Intel have now announced their latest results relating to increasing the efficiency of wireless induction systems for getting power to devices without cables. The approach, originally termed WiTricity by MIT who first demonstrated a 45% efficient system, has now been improved by Intel researchers. Since then, MIT have managed 90% efficient systems, which is more like the numbers that would be demanded in today's energy conscious world. However I tend to agree that it will be 5 years before such an approach could be commercialised for widespread use and probably substantially longer than this in practice.
Meanwhile, the current crop of lithium-ion batteries that are common in consumer electronics products today are likely to be gradually replaced by the next chemical technology for batteries, based on silver-zinc, from 2009 onwards.
And devices will continue to be smarter at using less power by selectively turning parts of their functionality off automatically.
So the power consumption issue won't be addressed by any one silver bullet solution, but rather by developments in all three areas ... New power systems, new battery technology and smarter more intelligent power management in devices.