There are more than 1.60 billion smartphone users in the world. We find ourselves looking for chargers every now and then whenever we are outside the comforts of our homes. Statistics show that people with ages ranging from 18-30 years are the ones spending most of their time with smartphones. On average, U.S. smartphone owners spend 58 minutes daily on their phones. With this much usage, there emerges a need for regular and frequent charging of these phones. In order to solve this problem, Korean researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have come up with a wireless charging system that is capable of charging 40 smartphones simultaneously.
This new wireless power transfer technology works from a range of about 15 feet. The basic idea of wireless charging has grown pretty old now. It was first introduced by MIT scientists in 2007. They termed it as Coupled Magnetic Resonance System (CMRS). Korean version has rectified the shortcomings in the previous version by modifying the design and they have increased the range from 5 feet to 15 feet. Korean system comprises of two 10-foot-long boxes having solid ferrite core rods with coils of wire in between them. One box serves the purpose of generating a magnetic field, whereas the second induces the voltage. This system is called as Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS).
By using this Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS) technology, not only can we charge 40 smartphones simultaneously, but also portable devices such as laptops and other gadgets. Professor Chun T. Rim from KAIST hopes that wireless charging technology would become as popular as wifi technology one day. This would relieve people of worrying about taking their chargers along whenever they go outside. “Although the long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialization and quite costly to implement, we believe that this is the right direction for electric power to be supplied in the future,” he said. “Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices. We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries.”
Korean team has demonstrated their ability to power a LED TV and three fans (40 watts each) wirelessly in a video. They also claim that they can charge 40 smartphones simultaneously, wirelessly. This whole idea sounds amazing however, there are a few queries that still need to be clarified. What about an old man having an electric pacemaker inside his body? What about a patient having a metallic plate installed in his limbs? How would such people be able to step inside a room full of magnetic waves emanating from this wireless charging system? What about carcinogenic index of this system? These questions must be answered before anyone of us steps inside such a room.
For now, this new technology sounds pretty exciting and will surely open new avenues.