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Wireless charger can power 40 mobile phones at once from 15 feet away

By now, most people have seen a wireless charger. It probably looked like a pad that charges mobile devices set directly on top of it. But a future generation of wireless chargers will be capable of providing power across a room without users ever having to set their device down or plug it in.

A team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology recently demonstrated a new option for wireless charging: a nine-foot-long box packed with coils that can deliver power to up to 15 feet away with a magnetic field. The team debuted the system last week and in March used it to power equipment at a nuclear power plant.

DCRS is not the first approach to long-distance wireless charging. Cota, a wireless power platform set to be commercially available next year, can charge devices from nearly 30 feet away. But even at the prototype phase, DCRS can already pack a lot of power. It can charge up to 40 mobile devices at once and larger devices like TVs.

A prototype of the Dipole Coil Resonant System can power a LED television from 15 feet away. Photo courtesy of KAIST.
A prototype of the Dipole Coil Resonant System can power a LED television from 15 feet away. Photo courtesy of KAIST.

“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,” research team lead Chun Rim said in a release. “We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries.”

The team created the DCRS prototype by improving upon existing systems that use a magnetic field to transfer power. The team said that it is more efficient, simpler and less sensitive to interference from factors like temperature and humidity. It’s much larger than a system like Cota, but it’s supposedly scalable.

56 Responses to “Wireless charger can power 40 mobile phones at once from 15 feet away”

  1. Everything metal, or conductive will be absorbing this power.

    It is like filling a thimble by throwing a bucket of water at it from 10 meters away.

    Efficiency ? If it is greater than 10% I will be impressed.

    Yes it is just like a Transformer, but not efficient.

  2. bryanellisvestavia

    My wife and daughter have extreme sensitivity to magnetic fields. They have tried various magnet therapy devices (pillows, necklaces, bracelets, etc) almost always receiving headaches as a result. I never notice anything when using the same devices. Other have issues with florescent lighting due to the “flicker” though most of us don’t notice. I have a feeling that at least a small subset of society will have problems when encountering these magnetic fields.

  3. Anthony Johnson

    This technology should be available soon as our offices are just looking like a trap of wires while charging Smartphones. This will reduce the dependency of hardware as only single charger can easily charge up to 40 Smartphones. I like the concept of qi wireless charging by just put my Nexus 5 on wireless charging pad that I purchased from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FPFRNTQ , anywhere and it starts charging it without messing up with wires.

  4. Cryoknight

    Our bodies also have magnetic fields, and near where I live, all the plant life around the large power transformers has totally died (including along the path under the wires).

    I’d be wary of being anywhere remotely close to one of these things for any length of time.

  5. Nice idea, one step closer to Nicola Tesla’s dream of wireless power. The is hazardous to human health, however. The field strengths required to radiate this much power are very strong and interfere with electronics and biological processes.

  6. Woody14619

    Such a bad idea. Pacemakers, tons of other devices could be impacted by this. There may also be health concerns just from the MRF on normal people as well. Then consider the power loss to do this. Even Qi based chargers, which limit charging to *very* close proximity with small, closely linked coil sets, get about 70% transference at best. Most inductive charging gets under 50%. Something like this, I’d be shocked if 10% of the energy used to power it was actually absorbed by anything. (And yes, just like any transformer, this takes energy just by the fact that it’s getting power. It takes more if something is in the field and actively using it, but there’s a constant loss factor even if nothing is in the field.)

  7. Carlos Hernandez Gamboa

    Nikola Tesla is still alive. But what are the harmful health effects? And for devices non protected against electromagnetic field? I can only think on the people with pacemakers.. Well let’s see what happens.

  8. P8092040

    Brain surgeons are seeing a record number of brain tumors on the side of patient’s heads where they hold their wireless phone. Incidence of cancer in residents near high voltage power lines is substantially higher than the norm.

    We have enough electro magnetic, micro-wave and other such harmful emissions in our day-to-day world.

    I’m all for progress and time saving inventions, but the safety issues need to be part of the mix.

  9. Manuel Alejandro Arredondo

    so are you telling me having oscillating magnetic fields all around us will not be harmful to all the other electronic devices?

  10. “Why is everyone glowing?
    mag stripes will be erased
    questions regarding the safety of exposure

    Please! If you are going to write a piece on a new technology (that you clearly do not understand) get the facts straight. In this case please contact MIT Professor Marin Soljačić and have him give you a 15-minute overview on MR technology. Then you may remove your ‘glowing’ comment and address the other false safety and security assumptions people have voiced.

    • whisperjet

      AH yes – we always understand technology – because we invent it – sort of like foot x-ray machines – that led to cancers. Yes, trust the inventors – they understand everything.

      • Robert Lee Louviere

        Apparently I was wrong.

        Basically, they’re using a coil that generates a field. That field is setup to resonate so that similar coils in other devices resonate with it and “accept” the field. Slightly different than relying on the induction field alone.

        It’s not radiation. It’s harmonics.

        • But oscillating magnetic fields may still affect humans iron based red corpuscles. There has never been a formal link made between radiated oscillating magnetic fields and human health concerns, but still, natural magnetic harmonics exist and form an existing if subtle framework within which all life on the planet has evolved.

          Unfortunately, long term health trials on such technology are impossible. It’s rather like cellphones today. We’re all labrats when it comes to their long term impact on life. Maybe constant exposure to millions of very low power radio wave devices, over decades, induces Alzheimer disease…

  11. Pumping out all that EMF continuously is total waste of power not to mention the cost and size of all those copper coils, basic use of known electrical principles, but stupid.

  12. Mobile (or cellphone) power output is 1.6W/m, anything more e.g. a high power walkie talkie at 10W/m is considered a hazard to me.

    So what is the value of these wireless power is? The Korean just make stuff up like they did with human cloning?

  13. maxomatic

    So every employee gets free magnetic resonance sans the imaging all day long, every work week? Not sure constant electromagnetic wave field is the safest idea for the long haul.