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17 May 2011

It's a Wireless World! - update

Imagine a kitchen where you will no longer have to wonder about like a desert nomad with your blender or toaster in hand searching for an oasis of power or at least a clear space near a free outlet.

The idea of wireless electricity was first conceived by legendary inventor, Nikola Tesla in the early 1900’s. His idea was to build giant transmission towers across the US that would emit an electrical frequency that your home appliance or light bulb would receive and be powered, much in the same way as a radio picks up a broadcast signal. After a major legal battle that was finally settled in the Supreme Court on the side of GE and Thomas Edison, Tesla and his idea of free electricity faded into obscurity.

But all is not lost, Fulton Industries has developed a highly efficient wireless power transfer systems that elements the use of cables or cords for small appliances. The new system can transfer wirelessly 60w of electrical energy over a distance of nearly 24” with 80% efficiency. This new technology is based on magnetic resonance, where two or more devices can transfer energy when using the same resonant frequencies.

The idea requires embedding a line-connected power transmitter into a counter-top, table top or wall, which then transmits power to an adapted appliance placed near or on the transmitter without the need for a cord between the transmitting or receiving elements.
Once developed to its full potential, you would be able to place any future portable household appliance, such as a toaster, blender, coffee maker or can-opener anywhere in the kitchen you would like to work without the need of a power-cord, plug or socket.

Not only can we look forward to a cord free kitchen, but what if we could warm up a can of your favorite soup or chili by just placing an eCoupled container anywhere on the embedded counter-top. Just pull the tap to warm, medium or hot and let the embedded technology do the rest.

Not just an energy source, but more like an embedded information highway. Imagine your child’s delight as his morning cereal box becomes interactive with new games or comics each morning as well as offering Mom incentives to download to her smart phone coupons for more cereal that she is nearly out of. This smart counter will be able to scan your bag of groceries when you arrive home from the market and log in your purchases and let you know when you are running low on everyday items.

For me, the greatest benefits of this new technology will be safety. With the elimination of the possibility for electric shock, gone forever will be the days of socket guards from curious fingers. And just think of the fun of making margaritas pool side with no need for plug…let the party begin! The possibilities are endless and the modern kitchen, as we know it, will continue to open up and expand its boundaries as new technology and applications continue to emerge.

Now Mr Tesla…about that “free” electricity idea?

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