Gadgets

The inventor of mobile phones reckons this is the next big thing

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David Cornish
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Not hoverboards. Not time travel. Nope, the next big technological leap that's going to change your daily life is wireless energy - gadgets that draw their power straight out of the very air around you.

This is the belief of Marty Cooper, the man behind the world's first mobile phone. 

Cooper foresees an increasing frustration in the world of gadgets: as we buy more devices whose batteries require frequent top ups, consumers are getting annoyed with having to recharge everything. "You won't want to take all them off and plug them in," Cooper told CNNMoney. "That's why they ought to be charging all the time."

The answer is already in development - tiny components that can convert radio waves into energy. We reported on one such experiment in April, but Cooper believes the best form of this technology lies with Energous (a company on whose board he just so happens to sit). 

The US Federal Communications Commission has granted Energous approval to develop a small transmitter that can power small gadgets including hearing aids and medical devices. While it won't be plugging into smartphones any time soon, it's a big step toward a properly wireless future. 

In addition to making the technology more powerful and reliable, companies like Energous have to convince relevant government bodies that their technology won't disrupt other devices that use radio waves or transmit signals. When they've done that, you can expect bigger manufacturers like Samsung and Apple to come calling. 

Who knows, you might have to explain to future generations the frustration of leaving your old Apple charging cable at home and having to beg around the office for anyone with a spare lead. They won't understand. They'll be too busy texting with their thoughts. Probably. 

[Via: MoneyCNN]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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