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Scientists Say Wireless Electricity Chargers Only "One Year Away"

The concept of Wireless Electricity or WiTricity is likely to become mainstream within the next few years according to a US based company that is currently building wireless electricity systems that could eventually replace existing solutions.

Eric Giler, chief executive of Witricity, presented working models of mobile phones and televisions being charged wirelessly at t6he TED Global conference which is currently being held in Oxford.

Giler also claims that the technology developed by Witricity, which is based on the work of physicist Marin Soljacic from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), could replace power cables and around 40 billion disposable batteries.

Witricity uses the "resonance of low frequency electromagnetic waves", which according to our uneducated guess, would make it something similar to electromagnetic induction.

Professor Soljacic, one of the inventors of the system, told the BBC News that the system is as safe as it can get. It remains to be seen whether for example it could affect pacemakers and other similar devices.

Furthermore, because of its wireless nature, it would be interesting to find out the company would make sure that only allowed devices may connect to a particular wireless electricity point.

Such a technology, would be significantly disruptive, and would pose a very potent threat to the battery makers like Sanyo or Varta, making them obsolete overnight.

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Finish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is also working on a similar technology that uses Ambient Electromagnetic Radiation (AER) to recharge mobile phones. Nokia says that the first commercial devices using this technology could be out by 2013.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.