Sony’s Wireless Electricity Offering

In August we covered a wireless electricity presentation from the TED conference. Now Sony has put out a press release on their wireless flat panel television prototype. The device is capable of operating without audio, video, or power cables connected to it. This is possible at distances up to 50cm at efficiencies as high as 80%.

As was talked about in the comments of the other article, the efficiency compared to that of a cable doesn’t blow our socks off. But this does show mainstream development of this technology. We hope to see advances in both efficiency and distance. We also look forward to that small black box (which we presume facilitates the energy transfer) being integrated into the TV’s body.

[via Gizmodo]

45 thoughts on “Sony’s Wireless Electricity Offering

  1. Am I the only one who thinks wireless power for a TV is stupid? I much rather have wires for signal and power on something like a TV that you setup and you don’t disconnect for months or years. We already are bombarding our bodies with enough radiation as it is.

    1. It makes no difference all wires which are live and all sockets that are switched off, gives off positive ionisation anyway, but just buy a air purifier which converts positive ions to negative ions, if your that worried.

  2. @LukeS:

    I agree with you, wires for tv’s are not a huge deal. this kind of tech is really cool though. Mainly for dealing with devices with batteries. I don’t know about the radiation stuff, but it would be pretty nice to be able to sit in a coffee shop and not worry about finding a place with a outlet to use my laptop.

  3. since theres Lan over mains suply it wouldnt be a stretch to get the wireless power to double as info carrying, whether its for running a tv and its channels, or updating things on your mobile when u put it down to charge, im sure you lot could come up with better use’s

  4. other than efficiency, why have wires?

    also, the electric fields around cross-country high-voltage cables (and the ones from cellphones and crap) have been proven to have negligible effects on humans. I somehow doubt this is worse. If you think otherwise, feel free to cite it :p

  5. @nave.notnlic: Efficiency is very important, and more so now that the world’s population is growing more and more energy hungry, and fusion power is still far far away.

    Also, not saying this is bad or anything, but this is not the same as the “electric fields” in cross-country HV lines. Different frequencies have different effects.

    And I totally agree with those who say wireless power is completely pointless on things that will not be moving around.

    This has the potential to be pretty good with electric cars though. Just park and your car will charge itself :-D

  6. while many say the distance of a no moving electronic (tv) doesnt need wireless, there are some homes where the plug may not be a good distance to use, and then you need extension cords, such, there are many other uses for this, charge phone using your pc without wires, never loosing your adaptor, cos you don need one anymore. i see sonys logic is putting this tech into something which is the most common to a home, a TV, almost every room in alot of homes has a TV now i have 5 in my house alone and its just a 3 bedroomed home

  7. I think this is supposed to be more about the core technology, and not that its powering a TV: The TV is just something most people are familiar with, and I’d say a pretty good thing to test this with.

  8. “here are many other uses for this, charge phone using your pc without wires, never loosing your adaptor, cos you don need one anymore.”

    But with this wireless technology you basically carrying adapter all the time, it become build in, bulkier phone bulkier laptop for such questionable advantage.

  9. Could be that this is once again aimed at the attractiveness of products. I mean, everybody hates wires right? Mainly with computers all you have to do is take a glance down the back of the desk and you just sigh at the tangle cables for all the crap you use.

  10. Can I put a chicken on the lower black thing and have it cooked by the time my film is finished?

    Actually, what happens if something’s put inbetween the transmitter and receiver?

    How about a standard for charging portable devices using induction, and then specially made coffee tables, desks and the like with built in inductive chargers. No need to carry your charger with you then because it’d be as normal and common as a lightbulb in a room. Charge all your portable items by simply putting them down on the table.

  11. Wait. If the box on the bottom is transmitting the power, then how can that be integrated into the tv? Yay! We’ve got wireless power for the 0.3 mm between the box in the tv and the receiver in the tv… yeah.

  12. “This is possible at distances up to 50cm at efficiencies as high as 80%.”

    Yes! Screw the Kyoto Protocol! What we really need is something that does a job that can already be done 100% efficiently and cheaply, but for more cost and more waste…

    never mind people complaining about leaving the TV on standby. Having it lose >20% of it’s power before it even *gets to the TV* is a pretty terrible innovation. At least you won’t need a $5 extension cable.

  13. why? what is the possible benefit of this?
    A small rectangle on a coffee table where inductive power is available for phone, remote control and mp3 player charging would be good, but powering static home devices – why?

  14. … and why not build the power receiver into the TV base? “It’s wireless power!” And then you see the 2 wires coming from the power receiver, going to the TV. At least they should have stacked the TV directly on top of the receiver for the photo op. Also, agree, it’s a static appliance so, what a ridiculous idea. Make it smaller, give it a sensor so it knows to power down and recharge your portables (MP3 player, phone, PDA, MID… ooo, crunchpad!) on the thing. Also, a lower-frequency AC magnetic field won’t affect us much if at all. I’m “sure” they did their homework to determine it would have no effect. A big corporation like Sony would [i]never[/i] put something harmful in our homes, would they?

  15. If ac magnetic fields were going to hurt you, you’re screwed anyway. They are already everywhere anyway. All appliances emit AC electromagnetic waves, all active wires in your walls do the same. Also Wasteful. Alex said its a static home device anyway. Plus you have to move the base to keep up with TV if you move it. Redundant. Rechargeable tooth brushes are cooler, with they’re inductance charging.

  16. Tesla would be proud. It is perfectly safe to be between the transmitter and receiver. Your body does not resonate at the same frequency so the energy passes right through you. Radio, TV, Cell signals pass through us every second .This is the same thing but at higher power levels. Back when AM radio was king engineers would play with light bulbs by walking around the ground below the towers with the bulb in hand lit up. Crystal radios work the same way, they have no power source but you can hear the station.

    Hackaday should do an article on crystal radios and how they can be made. I made one with a coffee can, toilet paper roll insert and some copper wire. It gets its power from the signal itself.

    Inductive chargers are different in design in that they only work at very close range, they are not designed for broadcasting. The reason it is not done more is because it is wasteful and nothing will change that. The path through air will always lose power. For a TV though I could see the benefit of having no cords and just bringing it home and hanging it like a picture without worry about any wiring. RF transmitter can take care of the video signals.

    imagine you buy a bluray player that just by taking it out the box and turning it on it works. No need to plug it in or set it up. Those sort of things are very possible. Although at a cost in power use.

  17. It’s basically this:
    Most of what’s in those boxes are the coils. Also fwiw, the boxes work probably somewhere in the MHz range. Those frequencies are non-ionizing radiation, although these antennas are not meant to be radiative, per se, since this is a near-field effect, not a far-field one that you would traditionally associate with antennas.

    On the up side, there was a paper recently about how magnetic fields can impair tumor angiogenesis, so maybe this will help stop cancer!

  18. There are some people who have done this but illegally. If you live near high tension power lines it is possible to place the proper coil of wire under the lines a foot or so off the ground and get power off the lines to run household items.

    Power companies are aware of this and there are stiff penalties for anyone doing it.

  19. @cgmark: this is actually non-radiative, so it’s more like the inductive chargers. Japan is trying radiative power transfer using microwave radiation, sending up a satellite in “5-10 years” with a bunch of solar panels which will beam the energy down to a power station on earth. The problem with true radiative power transfer is that you have to focus the beam or the power will just kind of go everywhere and it will be very inefficient.

    …and better yet, imagine integrating this on a chip (at a much higher frequency). No more soldering, just throw a bunch of chips into a suitable magnetic field, and you have a PC. Wireless power and RF for chip to chip communication.

  20. “transfer using microwave radiation, sending up a satellite in “5-10 years” with a bunch of solar panels which will beam the energy down to a power station on earth. The problem with true radiative power transfer is that you have to focus the beam or the power will just kind of go everywhere and it will be very inefficient.”

    And suddenly I have a vision of SimCity 2000 lol. They have Microwave Power Stations, and well… sometimes the beam, let’s just say “misses”. It would be like a giant laser cannon hitting the area near the power plant and wiping out everything in it’s path.

    Sorry, I could not resist sharing that one, but in reality they are working on this in the real world right now.

  21. wireless electricity was project of Nikola Tesla back in the ’20s, if I remember correctly, he wanted to make electricity world wide wireless and free of charge but guys like jp morgan, rockefeller and others just killed the guy and stopped/took Nikolas project.

  22. maybe not cancer but it is harmful.

    In Australia RFID(im not sure of the exact specs) is used to keep track of cattle in droves that are too large to fence.

    The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization) has done research into the effects of this and power lines on said cattle and a much lower mortality rate was noticed in cattle nearby to sources of such radiation. And shorter life span was theorized (being beef cattle this couldn’t be tested)

    I cant find the article on the awful site atm, but considering humans have not been near such strong wireless signals for as long I expect to see medical complications in this generation.

  23. Frankly, this is just a neat party trick to fool investors.

    It’s a resonant transformer with an air core. The technology is well known and understood, including the fact that because of the shape of the field, they’re only going to get good efficiency and power transmission when the two coils are on the same axis relative to one another.

    That’s to say, if you move that topmost coil an inch to the left, the efficiency starts to suffer and the output power drops because the field is no longer symmetrical on the recieving coil.

    The way it works, you simply can’t put the transmitter and the reciever in any arbitrary spot. It has to be almost exactly right, like pointing a satellite dish, which limits the usefulness of the system to few special applications.

  24. And secondly, because this system uses an alternating magnetic field to transmit the power, any largeish metallic or otherwise sufficiently conductive object nearby will experience eddy currents.

    I would guess something as simple as a metal chair frame or an aluminium computer case closeby would start to heat up and sap a significant amount of power from the system, leading to even worse efficiency.

    Careful to wear rings and bracelets around this bugger.

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