CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Electricity Without Wires?

Techstination feature for Friday, January 16, 2009

Electricity.... without wires? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It was September of 2006 when former Microsoft employee David Graham created a prototype in his garage. He raised some venture capital in the summer of 2007. And now he says his company, PowerBeam and his system of providing electricity without almost ready for prime time. How does it work?

"What you do is you have a's got some optics in it. And it converts electricity into light. The light then goes all the way across the room and is caught by a box that basically has solar cells in it. Fancy solar cells, but solar cells. They convert the light back into electricity. And you can have electricity wherever you like."

You won't be powering a refrigerator or plasma TV with the least not yet. But Graham says there are some real world applications....

"Initially there are three applications that we're targeting. Wall hung digital photo frames, surround sound audio speakers and LED that you can just put wherever you want. But those are just the starting point. The truth is, you can use this technology on anything that uses electricity. And in the future, we think you'll be able to sit down in a public location in a Starbucks and just have your laptop charge without doing anything."

Graham predicts there will be products powered by PowerBeam on the market within a year and a half. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.