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Disney Research Builds Prototype Living Room With 'Safe and Ubiquitous Wireless Power'

Disney Research Builds Prototype Living Room With 'Safe and Ubiquitous Wireless Power'

That said, we might be inching closer to it with Disney Research's recent demonstration of a new method for wireless power transmission that could charge your devices automatically the moment you walk into a room, making electrical cords and charging cradles a thing of the past. Although the technology is still nascent and the receiver is bulky, Disney's "Volumetric Wireless Power for Livable Spaces" is an interesting look at what future wireless charging systems might be able to accomplish without the restrictions of the inductive charging pads popular today.

The room built by Disney Research was lined with aluminum panels. A copper pole was placed in the centre of the room; a small gap was created in the pole, into which discrete capacitors were inserted.

As a society, we've been nearly desperate in our need to recharge our phones and laptops and locate the cords and electrical outlets to make it happen. These capacitors are connected to a signal generator outside the room which outputs a tone at a specific frequency. The only catch was that the room need to be constructed entirely from metal (aluminium).

The QSCR method enables power to be transmitted efficiently to receiving coils that operate at the same resonant frequency as the magnetic fields.

Their method, called quasistatic cavity resonance, has the potential to make wireless electrical power as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi.

Now for the 64,000 dollar question: will being in this room fry your brain?

Though the wireless power delivery technology is still in its early stages, Disney researchers believe it can still be further improved to power conventional rooms. A real-time power consumption tracking device could help monitor the flow of power and keep it within safe levels. In essence, up to 1,900 watts can be pumped in, but this would only be safe if the same amount of energy was being used by devices in the room. The researchers managed to transmit 1.9 kilowatts of power, which would be sufficient to charge 320 smartphones at the same time. One interesting advantage it has over other solutions we've covered is that it can be scaled to size, depending on the application. The research paper suggests that it could be equipped with intrusion detection or surrounded with a decorative wall. Likewise, one could imagine Disney's parks one day being populated by free-roaming Audio-Animatronics figures, able to run throughout the day via wireless power sources.

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