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  1. #1
    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    How much money can you make from a technology that replaces electrical wires? A startup in the USA called Powercast, along with more than 100 companies that have linked agreements with it, is about to find out. Powercast and its first major partner electronics giant Phillips, are set to launch a device powered by electricity broadcast through the air.

    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 coin-sized receiver 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 three feet. Picture your cell phone charging up the second you sit down at your desk, and you start to get a sense of the opportunity.

    Broadcasting power through the air isn’t a new idea. Researchers have experimented with capturing the radiation in radio frequency at high power but had difficulty capturing it at consumer-friendly low power. The Powercast team have set about creating and patenting a receiver that will. Because it transmits only low, safe voltages the system won USA FCC approval - and $10 million from private investors. Powercast is developing products with more than 100 companies, including major manufacturers of cellphones, MP3 players, hearing aids and medical implants. These products run to huge numbers. Pacemakers and the like require surgery to replace dead batteries, but with a built-in Powercast receiver, those batteries could last a lifetime.

    The technology won’t work for larger devices like laptop computers, but PC power consumption is slowly diminishing, making revenue potential more electrifying.

    FORTUNE, 14-05-2007

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
    The technology won’t work for larger devices like laptop computers,
    Damn. And there I was going At last. For ages this has been the last chord yet to break....

  3. #3
    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    "Radiation" and "Safe" should not be used to describe the same thing...

    We live in a world where more and more appliances are bombarding us with radiation, the end result not always being cancer but leads up to it...

    I recall a while ago how some guys in the US made a killing selling anti-radiation devices for cellphones... There are so many articles written about radiation from general appliances around us every day and then this comes up, what gives?

    Computer Equipment will never reach a low enough level for this to work. Think about it for a second... For every new generation of CPU that comes out, the Power/Performance ratio shrinks, so for the newer chips that means that even though their pwr/pfm ratio is lower, does that really mean that it uses less power? No, it only means that for the added amount of performance squeezed into it, it uses less power per cycle of calculation...

    Want a practical example? A few years back when the 486DX was the order of the day, we got along with measly 200W power supplies... Today's monsters, having power/performance ratios a 100 times better than the 486DX, is requiring at least 450W to start up the boards itself... Have one client who likes his toys, at the end of the day, we had built his machine with a 700W Server PSU to run his Bad Axe with Crossfire and all the Hard Drives and DVD's and all other things connected to it...

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