In all the classic cartoons a great idea is illustrated by a light bulb becoming illuminated over the character's head. That clichéd visualization of an ingenious idea may in fact become a reality in 2010! In Fortune's article the Next Little Thing 2010 there are a laundry list of mind-blowing innovations set to hit the market in 2010, one involves wireless electricity making the overhead illuminated light bulb all but a reality. What fitting symbolism to usher in the new year and the truly remarkable products set to enter our lives. Here is a blurb regarding the wireless electricity technology:
A physics professor, Soljačić dug into the problem and learned that if you could get two magnetic fields to resonate -- to sing the same note, in effect -- they could transfer an electric current. With two large magnetic coils, he found a way to throw 60 watts across a room, powering a light bulb. MIT, his employer, quickly patented the technology and encouraged Soljačićto start a company.
WiTricity's 15 employees are hard at work proving that Soljačić's magnetic coils can power almost any electrical device. Most of the company's potential customers have one major question: safety.
"There's a real perceptual problem," says CEO Eric Giler. "People think we're putting electricity in the air, and that's called lightning, and they know to stay away from that."
In fact, the coils turn electricity into magnetic fields, then back into electricity. Magnetic fields interact weakly with humans; as far as the fields are concerned, we are no different from air. Giler makes a point of standing between the coils whenever he demonstrates the technology.
At the Nikkei electronics conference in Tokyo in October, he was able to power a 1,000-watt klieg light from across the room -- a far cry from that 60-watt light bulb in Soljačić's first experiment. "We're going up the power curve," he says. -Chris Taylor
A few of my other favorites include invisible speakers, new bulletproof vests and remote communication devices for police and military dogs, and recycled brewery waste fish food. Check out the slideshow here and welcome in these exciting new innovations into our lives.