Disney Scientists Reveal The Future With Wireless Charging Room

By Kavi Dolasia on April 7, 2017

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Custom-built room with metallic surfaces enables free-range wireless charging using Quasistatic Cavity Resonance (Credit: Disney Research)

With our smart gadgets continuing to get increasingly powerful, battery power, of all things, is becoming of utmost importance. But amid the messy tangle of smartphone cords, unwieldy portable chargers, and the improbability of finding an electrical outlet, charging remains a challenge. Now, some brilliant scientists at Disney Research have created a room that can wirelessly charge all your electronic devices simultaneously.

Wireless charging is not a new concept. However, the currently available safe non-radiative methods, like cradles and charging pads, do not have a big range and hence require the devices to be in close proximity. While radiative transfer methods, like those used for radio communication, have a bigger reach, they have not been widely adopted due to health concerns.

The wireless charging room set-up (Photo Credit: Disney Research)

To overcome the challenges, a Disney Research team, led by associate lab director and principal research scientist Alanson Sample, developed a new technique. Called Quasistatic Cavity Resonance (QSCR), it generates electrical currents through a metallized structure. This helps to create magnetic fields that can transmit power efficiently to receiving devices with the same frequency, allowing multiple devices to be charged wirelessly at the same time. To ensure the induced currents do not pose a health threat, they are channeled through capacitors which isolate potentially harmful electrical fields.

Though the two main issues impeding wireless charging were solved, the researchers, who demonstrated the technology in a custom-built 16-by-16 foot metal room in their lab, still had one more challenge. Thanks to the way magnetic currents circulate, the devices could only be charged if they were perpendicular or at a right angle to the fields. To overcome this hurdle, the team designed spherical receivers with three vertical coils, ensuring that at least one coil is always able to obtain power.

New receiver design allows devices to be charged regardless of their orientation in the room. (Photo Credit: Disney Research)

In the research report published on February 15, 2017 in the online journal PLOS ONE, the scientists say the QSCR technique can transmit up to 1.9 kilowatts of power, which is within federal safety guidelines. For those that are curious, this is sufficient energy to charge 320 USB-powered smartphones simultaneously.

While the scientists built a special room to demonstrate the technology, c says customized structures will not be necessary once the QSCR method has been optimized. Building owners adopting QSCR will be able to create wireless charging rooms by simply retrofitting existing structures with modular panels or conductive paint for smaller areas and copper pipes for larger ones.

Wireless charging inside Disney’s custom-built room (Photo Credit: Disney Research)

The enthusiastic researcher says, “This new innovative method will make it possible for electrical power to become as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi." He believes it could "enable new applications for robots and other small mobile devices by eliminating the need to replace batteries and wires for charging." The future of wireless charging certainly looks bright!

Resources: NewAtlas.com,phys.org, disneyresearch.com

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Article Comprehension (9 questions)

  1. Why has wireless charging been a challenge?
  2. What have Disney researchers done to overcome the issues?

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Why would an entertainment company like Disney fund research for...

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“To ensure the induced currents do not pose a health threat, they are channeled through capacitors which isolate potentially harmful electrical fields.”

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274 Comments
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  • lopThursday, April 27, 2017 at 11:26 am
    this cool
    • the cool kidWednesday, April 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm
      This is amazing
      • brandon spearsWednesday, April 26, 2017 at 11:51 am
        please ship me that. its supper cool!!!!
        • epicshiftchara
          epicshiftcharaWednesday, April 26, 2017 at 10:17 am
          put that in my house
          • abel1297
            abel1297Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 5:29 pm
            cool
            • pokesquid
              pokesquidTuesday, April 25, 2017 at 4:31 pm
              OMG this is the best thing ever!!! My tablet dies when I least expect it.
              • Jerry Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 4:14 pm
                Hope that this will some out some time soon
                • alien joeMonday, April 24, 2017 at 11:32 am
                  i need this sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad my ipad dies
                  • Alexus berryMonday, April 24, 2017 at 10:12 am
                    this is some good information
                    • blainegraham
                      blainegrahamMonday, April 24, 2017 at 10:08 am
                      Thats really ganna be helpfull so i can get in a comfortable position and not have my back or neck hurting lol yassssss

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