The transfer of power to a device over the air. Although the wireless transfer of electromagnetic energy in the form of audio, video and data is ubiquitous, the wireless transfer of electrical power is still some years away. Expected in the next decade, it will be a breakthrough achievement that would allow portable devices to be recharged without being plugged into a wall outlet or docked in a charging station.|
From Across the Room
Some devices already employ an extremely mild form of wireless energy transfer that uses no metal contacts. Known as "inductive charging," power is transferred through the plastic cases using magnetic induction; however, the device must be placed onto or into the charging base. To turn wireless energy transfer into reality, signals must be transmitted across a room, enabling automatic charging of portable devices in the vicinity.
A first phase for wireless energy transfer, this electric toothbrush is inserted into its base station for recharging. Hardly an across-the-room transfer; nevertheless, power is obtained without any metal contacts touching.
The Palm Pre smartphone simply rests on its inductive charger without being plugged in. In this type of charger, devices can be quickly attached, and there are no plugs and sockets to bend and break. See