July 21, 2010 23:28 by Ty
When Nikola Tesla built the Wardenclyffe Tower in 1901, he was on to something that was way too advanced for the early 1900’s with the development of a wireless communications tower, broadcasting, and also demonstrating the transmission of power without interconnecting wires. Wireless communications is revisited today with our vast cellular phone and wireless technology. Wireless charging looks like the next step in to the future to power small gadgets and devices.
Dr. Matt Reynolds, who is an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Duke University, has developed safety gadgets for construction workers. The wirelessly powered safety gadget is a called a SmartHat and is worn by construction workers to alert them of dangerous construction equipment that is nearby them. The SmartHat has a built in beeper and microprocessor with no batteries and is powered by radio waves that are naturally occurring in the air. Big bulldozers and backhoes have wireless network transmitter installed on them and when they get close to a construction worker wearing a SmartHat, the beeper will sound off.
Harnessing radio waves to power small devices may not be anything new, but it is promising to think up of wirelessly powered cell phones, laptops, digital camera and other small devices. The other question is how big of a device can run off of only radio waves? Only time and innovation will tell with our drive to alternative energy power sources.
Dr. Reynolds of Duke University stated: “We are on the cusp of an explosion in small wireless devices than can run on alternatives to battery power. Devices like this can live on and on."