Wireless charging of electronics has just been brought one step closer to becoming reality, thanks to researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea.
The team managed to improve in the already widely known work by MIT scientists, and developed the Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS), a technology that can charge as many as 40 smartphones at the same time, from a distance of 5 meters.
If you are already familiar with WiTricity, the system that allows wireless power transfer, developed by MIT, you would know that the guys behind it managed to achieve the modest charging of 60 LED bulbs from 2 meters distance, and to power a laptop from across the room. When the news was first released some years ago, the team managed to attract quite a bit of attention, especially from giants in the electric car industry, such as Tesla and Toyota.
Of course, no one could possibly assume that other research teams around the world would not try to replicate the technology and build on it to get better results. This is exactly what the team led by Prof. Chun T. Rim of the Nuclear and Quantum Engineering department at KAIST. With their DCRS technology, the team managed to top up all previous achievements, and to provide a system that can remotely power devices from a distance that has never been achieved before.
In order to do that, the team had to focus on finding solutions to the technical limitations of the already existing technologies. They managed to improve the coil structure, the transfer efficiency, the sensitivity to external factors and even to reduce the size of the prototype.
The team is aware that it is still quite expensive to make the system suitable for commercial use, but their vision is that one day we will have Wi-Power zones, just as the currently existing Wi-Fi zones, in restaurants and public spaces. There, we would not only be able to enjoy the sun while drinking a cup of coffee, but we will also be able to use our electronic devices without worrying that the battery would give up on us, just when we most need it.
Image (c) KAIST