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Old 03-30-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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new technology

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/busin...3349/index.htm

A startup called Powercast, along with the more than 100 companies that have inked agreements with it, is about to start finding out. Powercast and its first major partner, electronics giant Philips, are set to launch their first device powered by electricity broadcast through the air.
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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: new technology

Hmm, what about health effects? Assuming the transmitter is omnidirectional, you'd need to pump out scores of watts of RF energy for each watt that gets into the intended device. That's a lot of energy to be putting into the environment where people are living, well above presently allowed levels. Microwaves are a type of RF energy--would anybody volunteer to sit next to a microwave oven all day if it was running on low power with the door open?

Folks are worried about their cell phones causing cancer, and others are afraid to live under power lines. I think this device would put out considerably more RF energy than either of these other sources.

Getting this approved and accepted by consumers wil be tough, unless I'm missing something.
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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: new technology

I hear ya. I don't want that thing anywhere near me.
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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: new technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
Powercast and its first major partner, electronics giant Philips, are set to launch their first device powered by electricity broadcast through the air.
I thought Ben Franklin called that "lightning".

NIMBY!
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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: new technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I thought Ben Franklin called that "lightning".

NIMBY!
Maybe not in yours, but 20 minutes ago lightning struck a power pole in our back yard causing a power surge that fried the circuitry on our alarm system. It went off and I couldn't stop it until I unplugged it from the outlet (secured by screws to prevent tampering), then managed to get the cover off the metal case to the battery back-up (also screwed on to prevent tampering) and finally pull the connection off the battery. It seemed to take me forever, but probably only 3-4 minutes. The dogs went nuts.

Funny that you were posting this at almost the exact second the strike hit...

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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 09:45 PM   #6
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Re: new technology

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Funny that you were posting this at almost the exact second the strike hit...
It's the mulch fire spewing all those ions into the atmosphere... or the tornados stirring it up... or fire ants in the utility's transformer!
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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: new technology

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Originally Posted by Nords
It's the mulch fire spewing all those ions into the atmosphere...
Mulchie is dead. The fire was officially declared out on March 28. RIP.

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Re: new technology
Old 03-30-2007, 10:57 PM   #8
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Re: new technology

Nikola Tesla's dream lives.
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Re: new technology
Old 03-31-2007, 07:32 AM   #9
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Re: new technology

The good news is that device could also double as a room heater, if you use a frequency that excites water molecules (as a microwave oven does). Kinda the "neutron bomb" of room heaters: heats the people in the room while not disturbing anything else.

I'm calling my patent attorney.

Ooops--too late. Another great idea lost to the publc domain.

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Re: new technology
Old 03-31-2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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Re: new technology

The point of this product is that you don't have to actually put your cell phone in the charger, you just have to put it down within three feet of the transmitter.

As Leno would say "How fat and lazy are we getting in this country that we can't reach over to put the phone in the charger?"
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Re: new technology
Old 03-31-2007, 02:54 PM   #11
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Re: new technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
The point of this product is that you don't have to actually put your cell phone in the charger, you just have to put it down within three feet of the transmitter.

As Leno would say "How fat and lazy are we getting in this country that we can't reach over to put the phone in the charger?"
It would be nice to have fewer cables to play with.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:30 AM   #12
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Here is a really good site explaining how it works.

Powercast Wireless Power Technology
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:45 PM   #13
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I think it was these same guys that were on a Science Friday podcast a while back. Interesting tech, but I don't think it is going to go mainstream - it could be handy for keeping things powered that you don't carry around and don't want wires strung - like smoke alarms?

One negative - it is going to waste a lot of power. People keep talking about the 'phantom power' lost to all those little wall transformers - well this thing is spewing out energy and all the conversions will waste some of it. The device can only pickup a small portion of the total transmitted power.

There are better technologies for cell phones, ipods and the like. I wish they were on the market, but it takes a some coordination. One is used in some cordless toothbrushes I think - it is just a close proximity pick up, you don't need to plug it in, just set it near the plate and it inductively couples.

Also, a company makes a pad with a matrix of contacts and 'smart' sensors' on it. Just lay your (compatible) cell phone or whatever on the pad, and it will connect through whichever contacts it can and apply the correct voltages and currents. It would be nice to just have one pad for a bunch of diff devices in your house.

But yes, people are starving in this world and we just can't seem to get by with the burden of plugging a cell phone in to charge it. It does make you wonder.

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