Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Power Spots

Wireless charging plates for laptops and portables.
  [vote for,

It's pretty easy to make a wireless inductive charger (most electric toothbrushes have them to avoid wet wires). Use the same principle to charge laptops, cellphones, and PDAs without wires. A Power Spot is a flat plate that conceals an inductive coil powered by wall current. Compatible portable devices have a coil on the bottom that generates charging current (by induction) when sitting on a Power Spot. You charge your gadget simply by placing it on a Spot for a while -- no more plugs, cords, or wall warts. Because they are thin and cheap, furniture makers can easily incorporate them into new desks and tables. Best part of all: Power Spots are standardized such that any spot recharges any device. A universal logo-decal identifies all Power Spot locations. Considerate designers will place power spots everywhere, from cafe tables to car passenger seats to airplane meal trays. Until then, flat portable Power Spots fit easily into a briefcase, and could even be incorporated into the face of a laptop case. One possible problem: inadvertent erasure of magnetic cards and discs.
rmutt, Sep 01 2000

http://www.mobilewise.com/ Another baked version of this [egnor, May 25 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Splashpower http://www.splashpo...ution/overview.html
[friendlyfire, Oct 10 2004]

Qi wireless power standard http://www.wireless...y/how-it-works.html
So when will we see this in consumer products? [rmutt, Jan 07 2011]


       I wouldn't count on considerate designers. Not that designers aren't considerate, just that they wouldn't get paid for providing the Power Spots. More likely, Power Spots will be widely available because they have a coin slot or credit card swipe slit so you can pay for your charge. Of course, the home Power Spot that you buy separately doesn't charge you for the charge (pun intended). Another possible business model is that The PowerSpot Corporation distributes the Power Spots at little or no charge, or even pays for placing them in hotel rooms, airports, etc., in order to create demand for the part of the device that goes into the laptop, cell phone, etc.
beauxeault, Sep 01 2000

       It's quite possible to avoid damaging magnetic media; simply don't supply current unless there's a device using the correct protocol on the spot.   

       And skip the icky coin slots or credit card swipes... use a payment system built into the charging mechanism. (Heck, that might actually work.)
egnor, Sep 02 2000

       not only what has been mentioned but, It's one thing charging an electric toothbrush, but when you get to something slightly more demanding, it's impractical. Alot of energy would be lost through lack of a counter-induction coil. The 'plug' coil woud only effectively utilise some of the EM field around the 'plug socket' coil. The amounts of energy required by a laptop would be so high that the field around the 'plug socket' coil would be disruptive and thus be in noncomplaince with part 15 of the FCC rules. EM fields are also one of the weak natural forces, it has infinite range with exponential strength-distance falloff (something like a factor of ^-10 for every cm further away) so all that infinite transmission of powere to nowhere would be a waste.
likwidnarkotix, Nov 21 2000

       They use inductive charging for (some) electric cars (which consume vastly more power than any laptop), so likwidnarkotix is clearly quite wrong, even if his (?) arguments sound plausible on the surface.
egnor, Nov 22 2000

       Yes indeed: he's wrong on every point. For example, it would work just fine at 60 Hz, thus it won't interfere with anything in the RF spectrum. Not worth debunking the other nonsense.
rmutt, Dec 08 2000

       I suspect some of this idea is beyond me , but it sounds very interesting.
peter2, Nov 09 2001

       I look forward to Lego robots nuzzling up to powerspots and making carefully-designed endearing noises as they hog the electricity.
hello_c, Nov 09 2001

       Cool idea if it could work. But I dont think so for high power. Its the electromagnetic copaling, it will be to week. The coils will be a long way apart and the permiability of are is low, compared to iron as used in transformers.   

       Could just take one of your new laptops and sit under a high voltage power line.
bearware, May 23 2002

       you get a croissant coz its a cool idea, and [hello_c} gets a mental croissant for the Lego robots idea.
kaz, May 23 2002

       Okay, I have worked out a practical and cost effective solution for above named power spots. A Google search brought me to this site, and it seems a great place to discuss it. I would appreciate your feedback to decide if this would be commercially viable.   

       First my current concept: one can place a desk size flat pad on any desk or table where laptops, pda's, mobile phone's, remote controls, toys, etc. ussually are placed when not carried around. these pads are (cable) powered by mains.   

       The mobile devices get a special adhesive sticker (about one square inch) on their back side which will pick up the power transmitted by the pad on the desk. A small integrated (click on; no cables) convertor unit feeds the power into the power plug for the specific device. By using this method all types and brands of devices can be used.   

       The pads can be sold in various sizes and the pick up units can be sold as kits for the specific device and be applied by the user. The cost of both will be fairly low ($25-$50) if made in fair quantities. No significant power will be lost, either when in use or not. No other negative side effect (like mentioned radiation) are currently known.   

       All sounds great, right? Well, experience learned me that bringing a good idea to a practical invention and placing it in the market does not mean it will fly. Marketing is key (and the highest cost) and people should be convinced the benefit is so big they want to buy it. They don't buy it because of the magics of this invention.   

       So what's the bottom line benefit? Basically: getting rid of that last cable! But do you think are people willing to invest in above? Please let me know, here or avh@dds.nl. Thanks!
inventor, Sep 15 2002

       the usual advice to someone new to the site is to have a bit of a "lurk",it might takes months ;) to get a feel for the place. also the best place for your email addy is on your profile page. click on your own name and with a bit of luck, you are there.
po, Sep 15 2002

       product now available: see http://www.mobilewise.com
inventor, Oct 22 2002


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