Friday, March 30, 2007

Never worry about charging your cell phone again.

I found a great article off
CNN Money about a company set to revolutionize the small electronics industry. Powercast claims to have developed a technique for transferring radio waves to a DC; the important part, it's cheap. The concept is pretty simple. Plug in a base station and put in a dime size receiver (about $5 the company says) and whenever your mobile device gets within three feet of the base station it starts to charge. No more plugging in clumsy chargers, instead while you sit at your computer reading the post your phone is charging all on it own.

That's where Shearer came in. A former physicist based in Pittsburgh, he and his team spent four years poring over wireless electricity research in a lab hidden behind his family's coffee house. He figured much of the energy bouncing off walls could be captured. All you had to do was build a receiver that could act like a radio tuned to many frequencies at once.

"I realized we wanted to grab that static and harness it," Shearer says. "It's all energy."

So the Powercast team set about creating and patenting that receiver. Its tiny but hyperefficient receiving circuits can adjust to variations in load and field strength while maintaining a constant DC voltage. Thanks to the fact that it transmits only safe low wattages, the Powercast system quickly won FCC approval--and $10 million from private investors.

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