The last few years have seen an explosion in ways of going wireless - in everything from light switches to battery chargers, wires are starting to look distinctly 20th century. But leaner times will force wireless technologies to prove their value, and not all of them are going to make it. There is an argument that an economic …
Wireless power will never take off. It is just so inefficient. Nobody is going to accept loosing 50% of their power into thin air. What annoys me more is that wireless power companies hardly ever quote the efficiency. It’s not a technology that can be improved much more, unless we ignore physics.
Shame, Wimax has more potential than LTE and ultimtely more throughput/ can see why it will fail though, existing 3G operators will prefer the upgrade path to LTE as it will soften the blow for them, Ah well , VHS wins again.
You forget (deliberately) the new "HomeEasy" range of home automation kit from Byron, and sold (for the first time I think) en masse by B&Q.
Yes, they are still around £20 a socket, but compared to Lutron and other systems, are dirt cheap - and with a little fiddling, can be driven from remotes like the Philips Pronto etc. Given the range of the transmitters is low, I suspect these things will be around for a while - especially once they bring out versions for non-incandescent bulbs.
I like the ability switch the heating on from the lounge, especially now :)
I'd happily trade 50% inefficiency to replace the 5 or 6 different and incompatible wall warts I have at home, all plugged in and switched on 24x7. Call me a walking ecological disaster but I bet I'm not the only one who does similar so wasting some power when charging to save a lot when not charging (I'd only need one wall wart, not 6) and gaining a boat load of convenience at the same time seems like a reasonable trade.
I certainly hope wireless power has a future - if the manufacturers of devices could all agree on a single standard it would take off without a doubt, 50% inefficiency or not.
Re: @wireless power
That's understandable, but in my opinion the need is not for a wireless power option but for a standard DC plug. Right now we have an idiotically wide range of AC adapters that take up too much wall space and that are usually useful for one and only one device.
Not to mention the mildly pornographic adapters that plug into the cigarette lighter.
A standard DC plug that provides one standard voltage that all battery packs could use. That's all I ask.
Standardising wireless power.
This might be a bit simplistic, but isn't it just a coil, with alternating current running through it, inducing alternating current in another coil? So a device could cater for its own voltage by having the right number of turns in its coil (just like in a transformer). It could even have a multitap coil which can be electronically switched, and adapt itself to incompatible base stations. Or am I missing something fundamental?
This could be one example of where that classic internet-age mis-spelling of "losing" might actually work...
"I fired my power out into the air,
It did some work, I know not where..."
standardised DC power
The standard that seems to matter here is USB. You can now buy mains bricks that recharge USB fed devices and a growing range of rechargeable gadgets need no other power supply.
I can see wireless power taking off in wireless mice, but not much else