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2015: The year of wireless power?

The potential of wireless charging created great excitement when it first came to prominence in 2007 when two researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) successfully powered a 60-watt light bulb wirelessly, using two copper coils two metres apart.

They went on to create Witricity, a company devoted to the technology. Since then expectations over wireless charging have proven over-inflated.

The tech has so far failed to gain any traction with consumers: it has been blighted by a lack of a common standard, as well as resistance from device makers who have not seen the benefits as compelling enough to build directly into handsets.

Witricity believes 2015 may be a breakthrough for its "magnetic resonance" method, as it can transmit power as far as several feet and through surfaces like wood and cement.

And the Japanese car giant Toyota - which made an early investment in Witricity - now plans to introduce wireless charging in the 2017 Prius.

But is wireless charging ready for primetime? The BBC's North America technology correspondent Richard Taylor was given a demo of the wireless innovations from Witricity's Grant Reig.

You can follow Richard on Twitter @RichTaylorBBC

  • 03 Feb 2015
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