Sunday, September 14, 2008

Plugging away at world with no wires

How many power cords do you own? Too many to count I bet. Chargers for the cell phone and telephone, digital camera and video camera, game boy and DS, portable dvds, ipods and the rest; old ones to old devices that are still in a basket wrapped around new ones in a tangled jumbled pile. Well it seems someone might just be listening. "Hoping to usher in a new era of communications freedom, researchers at MIT, Intel and elsewhere believe they can do for charging your cell phone or laptop what WiFi did for information delivery -- that is, get rid of those annoying wires."

Now don't get too excited, change is not coming in the next few months, but it is being discussed and I bet consumers might choose a device with a wireless power back up over a wired one. Just ask yourself, would you rather have a bluetooth headset or a wired ear plug for your cell phone? How it is done, I'll leave to the scientists; but I certainly would prefer a wireless charger to a wired one.

But the question I ask is how do you charge for power consumption. And how can you prevent unauthorized users of your power source from stealing from you. Will power consumption revenue models emulate the wiFi model? Will power be advertising supported? Change is in the air, so to speak; how it is effectively delivered and paid for remains the challenge.