This article on CNNMoney (credit to them for the illustration, too) features a company called Powercast. Right now they are developing technology that would allow you to charge electronics products (think BlackBerries, cell phones, iPods, game controllers, etc.) without a messy tangle of wires.
It took me about three seconds of reading to realize that this is potentially one of the coolest breakthroughs I've ever heard of. One look at my kitchen counter--which is a nest of cables for charging all manner of daily gadgets--and you'd agree instantly.
According to the article:
It may sound futuristic, but Powercast's platform uses nothing more complex than a radio--and is cheap enough for just about any company to incorporate into a product. A transmitter plugs into the wall, and a dime-size receiver (the real innovation, costing about $5 to make) can be embedded into any low-voltage device. The receiver turns radio waves into DC electricity, recharging the device's battery at a distance of up to 3 feet.
The story also notes that Powercast has agreements to develop its technology for over 100 companies already. The feature should start appearing in consumer electronics products as soon as 2008. Think MP3 players, mice, and keyboards first. The power demands of a notebook PC are too great right now, but further development could make Powercast-compatible PCs a reality soon.
~Chris B., Amazon Current
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