MIT researchers complete wireless electricity test

MIT research team juices up a 60-watt light bulb using "WiTricity"

The day may be coming when PCs, cell phones and many other devices will be run without a battery or electrical cord.

Last week, an MIT research team announced that it had juiced up a 60-watt light bulb using "WiTricity," the name it has given a wireless electricity source it is developing.

The team generated the WiTricity using two copper coils, one attached to a power source. The power coil emitted a field of magnetism to the unpowered coil, stimulating it to generate a current that powered the light bulb from seven feet away, said Andre Kurs, a graduate student in MIT's physics department who worked on the project.

The team has been testing WiTricity options over the past year, he said.

The WiTricity generated by the coils powered the light bulb in a way similar to magnetic induction, which is used in power transformers so that one coil carries power to another, Kurs said.

Using an energy converter, any object near the WiTricity generating coils could be powered, explained Kurs, who said the technology could, in the future, be used to replace cords and bulky batteries, which often contain toxic chemicals.

Kurs also contended that WiTricity is safer than electricity or batteries and will "run forever if you take care of it."

Depending on how the coils are configured, a single WiTricity source could provide power for several laptops or dozens of cell phones, he said.

The team plans to expand the tests with a goal of covering greater distances and generating more power, Kurs added.

"We're working to make this efficient, so it could be competitive with rechargeable batteries. It could be commercially available in a few years," he said. "We're going to get to work on this and get some more exotic applications, possibly even for consumers. We're cautiously optimistic."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc L. Songini

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?