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Sunday, 27 April - link

It Takes a Microwave

About eighteen months ago, I wrote a piece about "True Wireless" - cutting the cord on all of our "portable" appliances. The rapid spread of wireless Internet access has made me all the hungrier for wireless power. What's the use of wireless internet if you can only use it for an hour away from a wall socket?

A story on Slashdot today gives me some hope. CNES, the French space agency has been running trials using microwaves - power beamed over long distances can be sucked down by appliances for un-wired power. This starts to sound like the work that Tesla had done on long-range wireless power. This research was originally funded by J.P. Morgan, who, legend has it, cut off funding when he realized that wireless power might make his power company investments obsolete.

That seems a bit too reductionist - wasn't Morgan good at figuring out how to corner a new market and make scads of money? Either way, I suspect that near-future opposition to wireless power will come from health activists who will play on all of our fears of being heated up with microwaves like a hot pocket. Maybe they should rename them: "electrowaves" is too much like a Marvel comics super-villain maybe, and "powerwaves" sounds like a mood-altering sound emitter you might find in the Sharper Image catalog. How about "enablewave" or "happy fun wave"?

Posted on 27 April 2003 : 10:02 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.