RockDoctor writes: Nature are reporting early versions of a desktop-ready device for wirelessly powering equipment. A plastic sheet a millimeter thick on the desktop contains induction coils, microelectromechanical switches and control circuitry, applied to a conductive polymer base by various forms of printing. When the sheet detects a compatible receiver within range (~2.5cm), the nearest coil is switched on and provides the receiver with up to 40W of power inductively. The devices are not yet ready for mainstream — another 5 years of development is estimated — and there is the issue of persuading manufacturers to incorporate the receiving equipment into their new designs. But a projected price of ~$100 for a square metre of transmitter is credible (SG $ ? or CA or US? not specified in the article; the developers are in Japan). Now, if you could get power receivers that would supply (for example) a conventional mobile-phone charging-cradle, that would be a useful step towards widespread acceptance.
Could this lead to the start of a new VHS-vs-BetaMax or HDDVD-vs-BluRay style compatibility war? If one manufacturer is trying such an obvious idea, likely others are.
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