Ultra-small PCs that fit on a single chip. Batteries that recharge without cables. TVs that respond to your every gesture. These and other developing technologies will fundamentally change the way you think about and use your computer. PC Advisor looks at the technology of tomorrow.
Recharge without wires
Wireless power transmission has been a dream since the days when Nikola Tesla imagined a world studded with enormous Tesla coils. But, aside from advances in recharging electric toothbrushes, wireless power has so far failed to make significant inroads into consumer-level gear.
What is it?
Last summer, Intel researchers demonstrated a method for throwing electricity a distance of a few feet without wires and without any danger to bystanders.
Intel calls the technology “a wireless resonant energy link”. It works by sending a specific, 10MHz signal through a coil of wire; a similar, nearby coil of wire resonates in tune with the frequency, causing electrons to flow through that coil too. Although the design is primitive, it can light up a 60W bulb with 70 percent efficiency.
When is it coming?
Numerous obstacles remain, the first of which is that the Intel project uses alternating current. To charge gadgets, we'd have to see a direct-current version, and the size of the apparatus would have to be considerably smaller. Numerous regulatory hurdles would probably have to be cleared in commercialising such a system, and it would also have to be thoroughly vetted for safety concerns.
Assuming those all go well, such receiving circuitry could be integrated into the back of your laptop screen in roughly the next six to eight years.
It would then be a simple matter for your local airport or even coffee shop to embed the companion power transmitters directly into the walls, so
you can get a quick charge on the go.
NEXT PAGE: Gesture recognition
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- A groundbreaking new circuit
- 32-core computing
- 64bit computing with more RAM
- Windows 7 – inevitably
- SuperSpeed USB
- Goodbye graphics cards
- Recharge without wires
- Gesture recognition
- Curtains for DRM
- The Google PC
- Your fingers do even more walking
- Mobile-phone ticketing
- Location, location, location