KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Mar 29 2010

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Look, ma, no wires…


Imagine a kitchen where you no longer have to wander about like a desert nomad with your blender or toaster in hand searching for an oasis of power or at least a clear space near a free outlet.

The idea of wireless electricity was first conceived by legendary inventor Nikola Tesla in the early 1900s. His idea was to build giant transmission towers across the United States that would emit an electrical frequency to be received by and to power your home appliance or light bulb, much in the same way as a radio picks up a broadcast signal. After a major legal battle that was finally settled in the Supreme Court on the side of GE and Thomas Edison, Tesla and his idea of free electricity faded into obscurity.

But all is not lost. Sony Japan announced that it has developed a highly efficient wireless power transfer systems that eliminates the use of cables or cords for small appliances. The new system can transfer wirelessly 60 watts of electrical energy over a distance of nearly 24 in. with 80% efficiency. This new technology is based on magnetic resonance, where two or more devices can transfer energy when using the same resonant frequencies. The idea requires embedding a line-connected power transmitter into a countertop, table top or wall, which then transmits power to an adapted appliance placed near or on the transmitter without the need for a cord between the transmitting or receiving elements. Once developed to its full potential, you would be able to place any future portable household appliance, such as a toaster, blender, coffee maker or can-opener anywhere in the kitchen you would like to work without the need of a power-cord, plug or socket.

One of the greatest benefits of this new technology will be safety. With the near elimination of electric shock, gone will be the days of socket guards and curious hands and just think of the fun of making margaritas poolside with no need for a plug. The possibilities are endless and the modern kitchen as we know it will continue to open up and expand its boarders as new technology and applications continue to emerge.

Now Mr. Tesla…about that “free” electricity idea?

Kevin Henry

This entry was posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 7:00 AM and is filed under Kitchen Design, Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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