Disney invents room that can wirelessly charge your gadgets
24 February, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Alicia Barber
Disney Research has invented a new method of wirelessly charging mobile devices that could someday allow amusement park patrons to walk about freely while also getting their mobile devices charged. And its latest invention is a technology that wirelessly powers any device.
"How he wanted to do that was [to] set up a standing electromagnetic wave that would reverberate between the ionosphere and the ground and travel around the world", associate lab director Alanson Sample says in a video on the project.
Outside of the room, the scientists placed a generator and amplifier that produced a radio frequency signal and connected it by wire to a device called a drive coil placed inside the room. Scientists said that the efficiency can drop as low as 40 percent if a device is on the very edge of the room, meaning the current solution would likely result in thousands of dollars of extra electricity bills on an annual basis.
Though the room had to be custom-built for this study, Sample believes the need for such metallic surfaces will be significantly reduced once the QSCR technology is optimized.
On a separate note, because of the way the magnetic fields swirl around the pole, the device has to be situated perpendicularly or orthogonally to the magnetic fields to receive power.
Wireless charging on a whole has been somewhat of a disappointing feature since it broke out on the smartphone market a few years ago.
The team said it may even be possible to eliminate the need for the metalised walls, ceilings and floors in the future, instead using modular panels or conductive paint to induce an electrical current. "These oscillating currents in turn generate magnetic fields that permeate the interior of the structure, thus enabling wireless power transfer to receivers contained within, while simultaneously isolating the potentially harmful electric fields in capacitors". Experts revealed that the system is based on quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR) which produces the magnetic field. Oh, and if you're pumping 1,900 watts into the room, you also need devices to be using this to remain safe. Until that possible safety issue is resolved, researchers are itching about the enormous potential here.
The Disney wireless charging room is just a prototype for now. The reason this method hasn't seen much use outside of radio is because it's only safe to deliver low levels of electromagnetic power over large distances like that.
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