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Power Pads, Cut My Loose Ends!

The idea has been floating around before, but finally seems to be coming into the light with efficiency and cost. The day will come soon when we can drop any of wireless devices onto a table and let them charge. When our desks will run power to everything sitting on them, without any connections or wires. Awesome.

They do say it could be many years before we get anything reaching wide support. The problem is that the devices need to support these new sources of power, and the devices won't support them until everyone has the new sources of power. You know how those great cyclic dependencies go. Now, we'll probably see them first in devices that are high end enough to warrant including stand alone power pads with them. I'll peg Apple's iPod as an early adopter.

However, I do have an idea to push these power pads more quickly: receives compatible with standard batteries. AA, AAA, and C are the most common batteries used today, so packing a receiver coil into the right shape unit would be just the ticket. That means any device taking a standard battery is automatically compatible with super convenient charging. The second step is for large deployments of non-standard batteries to migrate into receiver coils, allowing lots of existing devices like laptops and cellphones to suddenly gain the ability to charge wirelessly. As a bonus, putting the receiver coils in the batteries themselves allows you to toss extra batteries onto the surfaces for pre-charging.


Comments

Unknown said…
That's a great idea, assuming form factors get small enough, early enough in the adoption schedule. FWIW, there was an article in The Economist about this, so I guess it's "big news" now.

The worry I have is safety -- although this is inductive coupling, and thus very short-range, I'm not sure I'd like to store my hands and arms mere inches above it for the 10-12h/day I spend at my desk. At least not without understanding the health implications pretty well first.

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