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PowerBeam Demos Wireless Electricity At CES 109

JadedApprentice writes "Caught a mention of this startup yesterday on CNBC while they were reviewing the latest gadgets at CES. In the off chance that there was anything remotely feasible or safe about the wireless power prototypes PowerBeam had on display, I took a quick google and found this nice little write-up on the technology (along with some priceless comments for those that scroll down, and I'm not talking about those on the page below). Bottom line: while it's possibly safe, it may not be efficient and it sure as hell won't power your 1200W gaming rig, the guys at PowerBeam are hoping the convenience of wireless power delivered through directed IR lasers will not only give you the coolest living room in town, but make them very rich in the process" This may be the only one using lasers, but there's a fair gaggle of wireless power schemes on the floor at CES. Besides several chargers limited to charging the controllers of specific game consoles, I walked through a working high-concept demo put on by PowerMat (also mentioned in that PC Magazine article), which relies on dedicated per-device sleeves and dongles to power cameras, phones, and other necessary pocket-fillers; the sleeve-equipped devices then sit to charge on one of the PowerMat induction mats. That means that if your gizmo isn't one for which a sleeve or dongle is available, you're out of luck, unless it uses AA or AAA batteries (there's a charger made to fit on the mat) or can be powered by USB (for which the company has hockey-puck sized USB-power sources, which, Yes, sit on the induction mat). Impressive, but at $30 a pop, that would mean a fair outlay to convert many gadgets to use such a system.

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