Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Large Scale Desktop Wireless Charging

Greetings from the Australian Academy of Science Shine Dome in Canberra, where the finalists in the Innovation ACT competition are giving their pitches to a panel of judges. One team which stood out was Pixelated Induction (PI) with large scale inductive charging.

PI claim to be able to deliver standard wireless charging for mobile devices, but on a scale suitable for airport lounges and cafes.

It occurred to me that one launch customer could be the military and other safety and security organizations, who need to have charged devices ready at all times. In 1996 I took a helicopter ride into the Coral Sea where USS Blue Ridge, was coordinating a joint US-Australian exercise. Personnel arrived on-board, like me, put their portable devices on long benches and then tried to get power so they could run the exercise. The result was a tangle of wires. Wireless charging would make this a bit easier.

Another IACT project with military and security application is Wildlife Drones. These are small robot helicopters (UAVs), with directional radio antennas. The drones automatically track radio tags attached to wildlife. The same technology could be used by the military to search for terrorists, improvised explosive devices and locating friendly forces. Drones could be launched from the ground, ship or aircraft. Wildlife Drones also need to consider how their technology could be misused: equipped with explosive and programmed with a mobile phone ID, the drone becomes an autonomous flying bomb, which will search for the phone and then detonate.

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