Meridith Perry, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (USA), has developed a novel method for powering electronic devices wirelessly. Christened ‘uBeam’, the method uses ultrasonic energy that is beamed from a mains-powered transmitter to a piezoelectric receiver plugged into the device to be powered.
Ms Perry came up with the idea for the uBeam system while still at university, when she forgot to take the charger for her laptop computer to a lecture and was left with a dead battery. She started thinking about ways to transmit energy wirelessly and ultimately came up with the idea of ultrasonic transmission.
The startup company founded to exploit the idea is currently in the development phase and expects to launch the first commercial products for both industrial and home use later in 2011. According to the website, the range of the system is currently around 7 metres.