The ability to direct and transmit electrical power through the air, without wires, took a further step from the theoretical to the practical in June when a group of MIT researchers demonstrated their “WiTricity” concept.
The technology works by transmitting electricity as a magnetic field oscillating at a specific frequency. Through “magnetically coupled resonance,” the “receiver” can capture the electricity, making for an efficient and safe method of over-the-air transfer.
Wireless transmission of electricity has been understood in theory since the work of Nikolai Tesla in the 19th Century. Safe, efficient and cost-effective wireless electricity could hold countless beenfits, from eliminating the need to install costly copper wiring to lowered reliance on batteries for small devices. However, despite the success of WiTricity, the technology has a long way to go before it is deployed commercially… not to mention the need to better understand side effects such as interference and possible effects on health and the environment.