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A key development in this area is the work by MIT's Dr. Marin Soljacic, who was able to separate the two coils over much longer distances than anyone had thought possible. Soljacic's breakthrough, dubbed "highly resonant magnetic coupling," is being commercialized by Massachusetts-based WiTricity. More details of this approach, and examples of how it can be widely applied, are in our January 2010 interview with company CEO Eric Giler. The company is releasing a technology demonstration kit designed for engineers.
"Being able to charge devices from a meter away is a notable advancement and may help proliferate the technology," Demeritt writes. "At the very least it means devices won't have to crowd around and touch a physical object to charge."
That crowding thing. What a drag. Very notable to be able to set your iPhone 6 down three feet from the charger. Think how our Digital Life will change.
And the patent application also is a morale booster. "The patent should give hope to those who were disappointed by the iPhone 5," Demeritt writes. "Wireless charging was on the wish list of many Apple fans during the media hype lead-up of the latest iPhone." The Disappointed: their name is legion.
Demeritt says "the patent is meant to tackle the 'unwieldy' configuration of the many wired chargers and power sources needed for multiple wireless devices. If Apple can cut through that clutter it would make charging iPhones, iPads and iPods together a lot simpler."
Not just simpler, a lot simpler. A lot simpler than this, which is taken from Apple's support document on charging the iPhone:
"To charge the battery, choose one of the options below:
"For the quickest charge, connect the device to a power outlet using the USB cable that came with the device and an Apple USB power adapter.
"Connect the device directly to a USB port on your computer (not an external keyboard) using the USB cable that came with the device ...
"Connect the device to an externally-powered USB hub."
Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.