Cut the Cord: Let Wireless Power Set You Free
I’m going to make a general assumption and say that the space behind your computer desk probably looks like a rat’s nest of cords and cables. If you’re anything like me, we have that in common.
All this technology these days is supposed to set us free, but at times it feels like it’s trapping us in a mesh of tethers.
Smartphones, tablets, wearable tech, laptops… our homes are swarming with ever more devices and gadgets. They can communicate wirelessly, but they can’t be powered that way.
However, unsightly piles of power cables are soon going to become a thing of the past…
In fact, for many applications, charging cables will go the way of network cables. You probably haven’t used a network cable for years, thanks to wireless communications (all my network cables are in a box collecting dust). Wireless power is going to put those charging cables away for good.
The idea of transmitting power over the air isn’t new. It all started with a classic American rivalry…
Tesla vs. Edison: The Great “Power” Struggle
Inventor and all-around brilliant “mad scientist” Nikola Tesla was obsessed with the idea of wireless power a century ago.
Tesla got there in stages by starting with wired power. In 1884, when Tesla got off the boat in New York City to work for Thomas Edison, he told him he had a better idea for transmitting electrical power over long-distance wires. Tesla wanted to use alternating current but Edison, who was already heavily invested in direct current, wasn’t interested.
After studying Edison’s inefficient DC generators, Tesla pointed out huge improvements he thought he could make. Edison promised him $50,000 if he succeeded — a vast sum in those days.
Unfortunately, Edison could be hard to deal with. He usually wasn’t too keen on using ideas that weren’t his own. He also wasn’t big on giving credit when someone who worked for him invented something. So when Tesla came through, Edison reneged on his word.
Tesla quit and found investors to back his ideas.
Edison and investor J.P. Morgan did everything they could to destroy Tesla’s venture during a fascinating period called the “War of Currents”.
However, despite getting fleeced and attacked by Edison and Morgan, Tesla won the war through better technology. With the help of investor George Westinghouse, Tesla succeeded by securing a contract to build the nation’s first hydroelectric plant in Niagara Falls.
It’s been an alternating current country ever since.
Tesla’s AC power system relied heavily on electrical transformers, a recent invention at the time. These devices were an efficient way to change voltage and current. They worked by transmitting power between two nearby conductors without them ever touching.
Fascinated, Tesla developed the idea further with a type of transformer we’ve come to call the Tesla coil. He came to believe that one day not only would communication travel through the air wirelessly but also that power would be sent all over the world — without the need for power lines. He wanted to modify an early communications tower on Long Island, sometimes called the Tesla Tower, in order to implement his ideas to create what he called the World Wireless System.
Unfortunately, Tesla died without ever fully realizing his dream of wireless power.
But now, wireless power is making a comeback. There is a company I love that is making tiny versions of “Tesla Towers.”
Early adopters have been using this tech to charge devices for some time. But now we’re entering the exponential growth curve — making this the perfect time to invest in a leading innovator of wireless charging technology.
To a bright future,
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