back to article Wireless power gets lovely shiny logo

The Wireless Power Consortium is very close to having a specification, but it has managed to create a logo and an unpronounceable name, so ticking all the Web 2.0 boxes. The consortium was set up last year in recognition of the fact that without interoperability the technology was doomed to die a quick death, as opposed to the …

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Bronze badge

Oh gawd

What an utterly toe-curlingly awful logo. The dread hand of a creative agency is all over this one.

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A pointless technology, surely?

If you need to sit the device on the charger you may as well plug it in. The "charging mats" can only charge a given number of devices so you may as well just provide a standard-socket charger with x number of connections.

OK, I thought of a use -- for waterproof devices especially those with low power needs (where a more efficient cable wouldn't really make much difference). You know, like electric toothbr...

Imagine the "anti radiation" people when they see this too!

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Silver badge
Stop

Electric Toothbrushes

"..Wireless charging is already in use, mainly for electric toothbrushes ...."

As far as I'm aware, those electric toothbrushes are charged by what is effectively an air-gap transformer. This gives you a transformer with a very low power efficiency but it has the obvious advantage that the two halves can be easily separated. For the power requirements of an electric toothbrush, that will spend most of its time charging at a low power level, this low efficiency does not matter. Any separation of the two parts, greater than a few millimetres will massively reduce the power transfer efficiency or prevent power transfer altogether.

'Wireless Power' is a totally different thing that involves transmitting usefully large amounts of power across large open distances at a high (or acceptably high) power transfer efficiency. This supposedly involves 'resonant fields' of some kind.

I've always been suspicious of this 'wireless power' as a serious technology and do hope that serious technical articles will not use the example of modern electric toothbrushes as some kind of proof of it actually working in a useful way.

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Coat

Chee?

Can I charge up my persocom with it?

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Coat

In a similar vein to the OGC logo

Does anyone else see this and see someone seated, hands on knees, boaking his guts up?

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FAIL

wireless charging in public places?

how are they going to charge for that?

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FAIL

Is THAT the best they could do?

The new logo looks - to me at least - to resemble a human figure scratching ass and crotch.

I'll leave it to others to make the witticisms about 'wires being a pain in the ass' or whatever.

And what's wrong with stealing - sorry 'leveraging' something more obvious - like the "Water and Power" logo from Tank Girl. Or a nice cloud with a lightning bolt coming from it? Or a battery icon over a cloud? Etc (heck maybe I should have been in 'branding').

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WTF?

anyone else think...

the logo looks like a really fat person trying to sit down? like a massive arse or something?

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Coat

@AC

"how are they going to charge for that?"

My thoughts exactly and if we use it in the home will people be able to steal our electricity like using an unsecured wireless network.

It seems to me that wireless charging devices will need to be able to identify themselves to the 'power network' in order to charge the right device owner for their consumption and to prevent wireless power theft.

Thoughts anyone ?

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Boffin

I thought what I'd do was, ...

Someone in their branding agency is an anime fan. That's very like the Laughing Man logo from the 1st TV series of Ghost in the Shell, just turned on its side. See

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughing_Man_%28Ghost_in_the_Shell%29

Yes, I am a geek thank you.

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Go

@A pointless technology, surely?

Not exactly, wireless power devices allow power to be transmitted over several metres and are designed to be easily hidden from view (e.g. flat panel that hangs behind a picture on the wall).

At some indeterminate future point you will be able to buy transmitters to install in your home as well as a hopefully large number of devices with the receiver built in. (Current solutions have adapters at the moment, but they mean you have a dongle that needs to plug into whatever you want to power, largely defeating the point on mobile devices.)

So, you set up a transmitter in, say, your lounge then as you sit and watch TV in the evening you get your mobile phone/mp3 player/PSP/whatever charged without taking it out of your pocket.

Or you can use your portable computing device of choice without draining the battery or having to look for the mains adaptor.

Or your robotic vacuum cleaner can bumble freely around without needing to pop to the charging station at regular intervals.

Anyway, I think you get the idea now :-)

But I think you're right about the anti-radiation crowd.

I quite like the idea, however I'm not quite sure how you would stop neighbours using your power (either accidentally or deliberately).

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Thumb Up

@Tom 32

I do now.. lol

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not sure about that...

>it's going to be a very long time before we see wireless charging from public booths - if indeed we ever do

Surely the fact that there was no common standard for cables until recently is precisely why you don't get many public areas where you can charge phones? That, and the fact the user's phone is tethered to a 18inch cable for 20 minutes means it was never going to catch on.

Taking transport as the likely application - you don't want train managers or flight attendants having to sort through loads of different cables for the customer - and so you have a booth in the train station or airport - who have to carry, maintain or replace 10's of different cable types - never was going to work.

Now we are starting with a common standard for wireless power which developers and service providers can implement without regard for target device - So instead, your train table or plane tray has a 'QiZone' <pauses, registers domain name, continues> marked on it where your road warrior can charge their blackberry or iPhone - (and lets face it, how many people _don't_ get out their shiny status symbol and leave it glistening on the table whilst they munch on their baguette - might as well charge it at the same time).

Hotels are your other likely ground - "don't bother bringing your euro adaptor - all our hotel rooms are fitted with QiZones in the desk and bedside tables"

And what's to stop car manufacturers piling in - most cars are beginning to come with integrated bluetooth options. Stop all this fannying around with pre-wired mutli cradle systems, and just add a Qi circuit to the car's wallet tray instead - and probably charge £500 for the option...

If Qi can gain enough cachet with any of the major manufactures, I suspect it will catch on pretty quickly with service providers as a cheap value-add. The addition of a metering method, could make it a revenue stream to boot.

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FAIL

@ frank ly

"transmitting usefully large amounts of power across large open distances at a high (or acceptably high) power transfer efficiency."

You missed the word "allegedly", although your "supposedly" in the next sentence nearly makes up for it.

Anyone with a clue about tuned/resonant circuits knows that magick occurs with a high Q (near lossless) tuned circuit. But as soon as you connect some kind of load across the tuned circuit (e.g. to extract power from it e.g. to charge a battery), you detune it, it's no longer high-Q, and any alleged resonance effects (such as high efficiency power transfer) therefore also stop. Which to me would seem to render the concept ineffective.

Readers, don't take my word for it, try it with a couple of coils on a ferrite rod, set up as a matched sending and receiving pair of LC tuned circuits. The ferrite rod ensures far better coupling than you'll ever get in free air. Feed a couple of volts of RF in at the relevant frequency. See if you can light an LED on the receiving coil.

Now try the same again without the ferrite. The resonant frequency will be different, obviously. But you're not going to get much power transfer even at resonance. I'd be astounded if it ever lit an LED unless you sat your receiving coil under (for example) the Droitwich LW transmitter.

Anyone got the phone number for Mythbusters/Bang goes the budget?

Based on everything I've seen and read, this is extremely dodgy sounding technology. Not quite in the zero point energy class, but not far off.

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Big Brother

Its a man...

Its a man looking at the back of his flat screen wondering where the wires are.

Everyone else is wondering where his hair has gone and why he is so thin. Radiation sickness maybe?

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Anonymous Coward

The Teapot Consortium

Turn your head right side and you'll see it's a teapot. So lets call them the teapot consortium.

They can show the power of their wireless system by showing little teapots, one teapot is enough to warm tea for 1 person, 2 teapots is warm tea for 2 people....

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FAIL

So no Wardenclyffe tower logo then

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower

Image the shape of the tower but in silhouette that would have been very iconic and geeky.

But noooooo we have to have a name and logo that makes you go "WTF?"

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Silver badge
Happy

@AC 14:40 re. @frank ly

"..Readers, don't take my word for it, try it with a couple of coils on a ferrite rod, set up as a matched sending and receiving pair of LC tuned circuits..."

Aaawww, it's years since I did that sort of thing. Maybe I'll get my soldering iron out this weekend and see if I can still do it. I'm sure I've got a multimeter somewhere in the garage, I wonder if I can find it.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Bigger is better

It's a silhouette of a man lugging a giant inductive charger. Or maybe that's a tumor on his back from leaking EM fields.

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Pint

powermat anyone?

Sure it was powermat (just googled and it appears to be, although can't find any reference to UK media reviewing it 3-4 yrs ago), and they had it all ready 3-4 years ago, but the biggest hurdle was getting the manufactuers to build the tech into the batteries themselves so you did not have to have seperate dongles/chargers etc (which kinda defeats the point). So what might be of more interest was hearing Nokia, Sony, HTC, Samsung etc announcing that they would be building the technology into all their batteries (or powermat standard which is apparently seperate from wireless consortium). At the time i vaguely recall that the worry was the phone companies might not do it because they could not sell their own cable and connectors but not sure how much of an issue that is now, as most seem to be using stardard USB connections!

Awaiting the day I don't have to hear my g/f say 'do you know where my phone/camera/ipod charger is?' having lost the appropriate one yet again!! :-)

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oops, not powermat, it was splashpower

and even found the bbc article about the british start up... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2861987.stm

Typcially they been brought out and the eCoupled (the new company) are part of the wireless power consortium!

doh!

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Badgers

its offensive to us disabled people

how dare they steal our logo

and smack us round the head with it to boot :)

seriously, i hope that poor disabled guy has a lifeline button, else he'll be crumpled on his chair wheel till social services come round

badgers? - cos i like the icon..

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Pint

I for one...

... welcome out wireless power overloads.

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Joke

@So no Wardenclyffe tower logo then

Chances are whoever came up with the logo would take that turn it on its side and not realize why everyone was snickering.

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Happy

Gives a whole new meaning to "WarDriving"

You'll be able to park outside a house with an unsecured WiPo point (can I copyright that?) and charge your leccy car for free.

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Logo depicts...?

I think they're advertising a radical new procedure which allows pregnant women to carry their child to be upon their back instead of on the belly.

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Flame

Over Resonance?

I don't know anything about the technology. However it just occured to me that if this is supposed to be a way of charging electrical equiptment by resonance wouldn't it then be easy to create a resonance gun and blow everything up? Kinda like a glass when hit with the correct frequency. I guess they have probably thought about this and somehow made it so that it isn't possible, or perhaps it simply breaks with a small wimper, but I thought I'd mention it all the same.

Oh yeah, and the logo is rubbish.

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Coffee/keyboard

@Tom 32

You, Sir, owe me a new keyboard!

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Boffin

waldo anyone ?

No, not the freak in the pictures, the old Heinlein story. Wireless power was used to power flying cars, well, broomsticks actually. You think Harry Potter invented them ? Find it, dust it off, read it again.

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Nikola Tesla

Read up on him.

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Jobs Halo

Well that's me coming up with the idea of

The QIPhone. Wireless communications- wirelessly charged.

This idea now copyright Adam Foxton 2009. Don't nick it, it's totally in use (or at least will be in about 2 minutes). Though Apple could get me to surrender the copyright on it for the cost of my mortgage...

I'm probably being a little Qi-ky? (hey, there's an idea for a kid's wirelessly-charged toy! Or a wirelessly-powered entry system)

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Happy

I like it

It's a man with a backpack on... probably got his laptop and a comfortable arctic sleeping back in there too... he's looking for portable and wireless power.... oooh, he's found it. It looks like him!

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@Adam Foxton - Well that's settled then.

Your QiPhone can recharge on my QiZone. A little patent pending family.

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