The idea of powering a device without wires or a battery may have just taken a huge step forward. In an unprecedented advance in the field, Japanese Researchers working for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries funded by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry have successfully beamed electricity across a 1640 foot air gap. The feat was accomplished through a process termed “radio emission technology”. Essentially the power is converted into a microwave beam which is fired with 100% accuracy into a receiver. In the case of this test 10 kilowatts of electricity were beamed through the air at the Kobe Shipyard and Machinery Works. At the receiving end, the successful receipt of power was signified by the lighting of an LED. This ended up being just the right amount to power a small electric water boiling kettle. While this terrestrial test certainly was on a small scale, it promises many possibilities. Not only could it potentially replace power lines and other expensive to maintain infrastructure, but there is the distinct potential to gather solar energy from near earth orbit and beam it down for use on Earth.
While this is very exciting for the future, we can’t help but wonder what happens if a person, animal, or other object happen to get in the way of the transmission?