Wireless Power – How is This Not Dangerous?

I’ve always wanted the power to smite people. You throw your arms up in the air, call on the powers of heaven and lightening, and fry the offending party where they stand. Generally, this urge comes on when I’m driving around Salem.

Now I hear that Sony has developed wireless technology that sends electricity through the air.

While my mind is boggled – Flying invisible electricity! Get excited! – I have to ask myself. How is this not dangerous?

I understand that this is not strictly a new concept. My cell phone works, and it’s not plugged in. My laptop can connect to the internet while I wander around the room, carrying it like the surrogate child it is. But electricity just seems more intense.

Perhaps it’s an after-effect of all those Hollywood movies and storm chaser shows. I just imagine sitting calmly on my couch while bolts of lightening zap around my head, charging my electronics and periodically frying my cats.

powermatNot being a scientist or an engineer, I’m just going to assume they’ve got this under control. Because in a related technological breakthrough covered by Apartment Therapy, there are now wireless charging mats available on amazon. And I want one.

Why? Well, practically, I could charge my electronics more efficiently. I’m a big fan of toys and I’m pretty OCD about keeping them charged. In this scenario, I’d come home, empty my pockets of gadgets and gizmos a-plenty, and drop everything on a Powermat. I wouldn’t have to plug anything in, and when I went out again, I’d just scoop everything back up and it would be magically charged.

Aesthetically, this means I could dispense with some of the cords that currently make my home an unsightly nest of plastic and wire. Also, we’re in the process of baby-proofing, and going cordless (even a little) would help a lot.

taserConsidering the future, I am somewhat concerned. In a society with both wireless electricity conduction and tasers, it can’t be long before smiting-in-traffic is a reality.

You’ll be sitting in your vehicle, someone will cut you off, and instead of moving on with your life (or yelling obscenities out the window) you’ll press a button on your Honda Powermat Traffic Enforcer and zap the other driver from 3 car lengths away.

I fear for the world. And I’m also going to advance order any road rage related powermats stat.

Image credit: mat & taser.

Article credit: Thanks to Apartment Therapy, Jon Heller and PC World.

6 Comments

  1. As an evil dictator myself, I’d just like to point out that you’re thinking too small. Why would you tazer a car that cut you off when you could just tazer every other car on the road -by default-? That way you’d never be cut off in the first place.

  2. @Mark – You’re right – tasering by default would be much more efficient. In fact, in the theme of being proactive, I will just taser everyone’s car in their driveway, so they can’t leave their house to begin with. This will keep the roads clear, should I ever decide to abandon my hovercraft and drive.

  3. My dad has a Ph.D. in physics (I am not making this up) and I recently asked hi about the dangers of wireless power. He says that it is among the most INEFFICIENT methods of charging there is, because it just is throwing up power in the air, whether anything is there to grab it or not. (This can be combatted with time and technology, like searching for a signal, and then throwing up the power). But, there’s also the issue of long term effects. He says that walking by the display in Target is not a problem, but if you buy one and place it next to where you sleep, you might get some brain damage after a while (same reason you don’t sit on your microwave as you warm up your Hot Pocket, there’s a lot of radiation that can harm you being emitted). Now, there’s nothing so far showing whether you can or can’t get brain damage from this over a long period of time, but let’s use our brains (while we still can. :]). We currently have a method in which we plug the device in, and set it down. With wireless power right now, we put on the bulky charging pack, and set it down in a special area. Currently, it appears more restrictive. So, with everything, the Physicist says avoid wireless power, at least in it’s current form.

  4. Hi Christoph,

    Thanks for sharing – I appreciate your Dad’s insight. It will be interesting to see if wireless power will become safer and more efficient over time.

  5. Michelle

    I, too wonder about the potential for harm or mayhem with these devices. What if you wrapped one around someone’s head for punishment? How long would it take to zap his/her brain. Many moons ago, my friend’s iconoclastic family–they also had a pet chimp named Nixon– bought one of the first microwave ovens marketed (this was in the 60s). It was the size of a refrigerator and sounded like a jet engine. It was a marvel to all who stood before it (and in doing so, got the equivalent of 60 chest x-rays). I sat very close to our first color TV. Now we have magnetic charging mats. Things never change.

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