Maybe it is just a sign of the times, but I loathe wires. While in college I collected a number of super long Ethernet cables (typically from scouring the central computing building’s surplus bins) so that could “wire” one apartment or house and then the next during my long career as a student. I didn’t care if a cable ran around a room, out a door, taped to the wall of a stairwell, down the hall and finally connecting to our community switch – it was all about functionality – and besides, I wasn’t overly concerned about the aesthetics of a rental property. Now, however, I own a house and have pride in these silly things – I want stuff to look good – and this usually means having less wires, flashing lights and god knows what else laying all over the place. I love a nice clean habitat.
So here we are; it’s 2009. My modest domain consists of 9 Internet connected devices – all but two (desktop Windows computer and network printer which are physically located next to the wireless access point) are members my wireless network. Entertainment devices are hidden within solid media cabinets. Things are looking good. No one would suspect the amount of automation and computing tucked out of sight. Then you see that one corner of the home office. Wires spew forth where we charge a myriad of portable electronic devices – most of these cables simply hang lifeless on the floor where I threaten to crush their adapter ends with my rolling office chair on a constant basis.
What can be done about this? Well, I just stumbled upon some information regarding a pretty kickass new product which promises “Wireless Power”. Prior to reading about this, I believed wireless power would consist of a Tesla coil arcing lighting from a power outlet to your mobile device. While this would be an awesome product in itself, the 8 million electricity related deaths in the first month on the market would be a buzz kill.
In steps the Powermat – http://www.pwrmat.com. A placemat type device that creates a “handshake” between the mat and your device. Their website has demonstration videos showing blenders, fans, and other devices being powered through this technology. Quite amazing! The current drawback right now is the need for the purchase of contact adapters to facilitate the handshake. However, should this become popular, I would see device manufacturers creating a standard where these contact adapters are built in. I picture myself coming home, and dropping off my keys, ipod, cellphone etc onto the bookshelf like I always do, but now they are fully charged in the morning! Of course, they won’t be availble until fall of this year. Needless to say – I am super excited about this and would love to get my hands on one.