Thursday, August 23, 2007


Imagine a world with a constant hum. You can't necessarily "hear it hear it", but you know it's there. A low-level eeeeeeeeerie hum, similar to that of an ear ringing or the light white-noise of your HVAC.

What is it?

Wireless electricity (WiTricity).

While I know the technology (almost certainly) carries no such hum, I can't help but imagine feeling/hearing/sensing a similar sound/presence/aura whilst living in a house of floating voltage.

All of this stems from a new article in Wired Magazine about the researchers of MIT and they're edumacational smarts. Apparently, they've lit up a 60-watt bulb from across a room (unfortunately, it wasn't a CFL bulb so now the entire university is tarnished in negligent shame).

The MIT design consists of two copper coils. One, attached to the power source, is the sending unit. Rather than send out electromagnetic waves, it fills the space around it with a magnetic field oscillating at a particular frequency. The second copper coil is designed to resonate with that oscillating magnetic field. A copper coil within an oscillating magnetic field generates a current, enough, in MIT's case, to power a light bulb.

Power transformers make use of something similar, called magnetic induction, to transmit power between coils over short distances. But those coils aren't designed to resonate with each other. Resonant coupling makes the transfer of energy almost a million times more efficient.

Since the magnetic field doesn't radiate, most of the power that isn't picked up by the receiving unit is bound to the originating coil, rather than being lost into the environment. That also means that this system has a limited range, and the smaller the receiver, the smaller that range is.

Do you hear the teacher on Charlie Brown yet?

While interesting nonetheless, I can't help but share Sonia Zjawinski 's opinion: "I wonder how safe living in a magnetic field is?"

Didn't we learn anything from our legal counsel (Julia Roberts) when she fought the man?

Granted, those were with high-voltage power lines, but this little piece of information from the UK Cancer Research Help Page isn't really reassuring.

Nor is this.

Or this.

Or this.

This is.

But not this.

God bless the interweb and its ability to both comfort and fear !

I guess I better thank my paranoid stars that the Wardenclyffe Tower was never completed (by completed I mean the brilliant JP Morgan pulled out his dough, forstalling Nikola Tesla's attempt to annihilate Long Island).

As much his idea, at the scale in which it is presented, scares the living Beegees out of me, others continue to dream about what could have been. My favorite:

If Tesla had been successful in the early part of the 20th Century with Wardenclyffe, and humanity had proceeded on the road to Utopia, by now in the 21st Century...we would be warping ourselves in saucers at the speed of light. Our heightened technology would have drastically raised our consciousness. There could have been another path traveled where there were NO WORLD WARS! Humanity did not have to be plunged into wars somewhere on the planet decade after decade. Technology could have solved the problems of conflict, greed and chaos. People should have had and presently have a much higher standard of Life. We have all been robbed of a technical, material paradise and very few people are aware of it.
WiTricity? I'm more scared than impressed.

Wireless Plumbing? Now you've got my attention.