How does it work? By using a magnetic field, which is only beaten in the limp-wristed forms of energy contest by gravity, and we all know that sucks – but not very well.
Intel admits it will need to work on some aspects of miniaturisation – yeah they got that right. The demonstration uses two magnetic coils each about a metre in diameter – imagine a couple of those in your office. You’d never have to worry about where you left your keys.
They’d be stuck to the humming coil thing in the corner. You’d also no longer worry about your data since most of it would be wiped clean by the magnetic field throbbing alongside your storage stack.
And let’s assume they manage to make this thing really really tiny – and maybe they can having already made billions doing the same thing to transistors. So, if they do shrink the magnetic coils down to a miniscule size, we’d have to expect the power output will still be fairly high in order to do anything useful like charge the battery in your mobile or laptop.
And if the power is there for that to happen, we still predict your keys, and paper clips, will spend all day glued to the “wireless power supply”. Maybe we’ll also be moving to a world where everything is plastic and unaffected by magnetic fields.
Oh wait, they make plastic out of that black sticky stuff and by then we’ll have burned the last barrel. Hey here’s an idea for budding power savers – why not put a solar cell in the top of every mobile phone?
It works for calculators so why not for phones? Sure it wouldn’t be enough to charge the little monsters fully but it would have to help extend their battery until a real charge came along.
And since you’re sitting in an office full of flouro lights you might as well soak up a few rays for your phone, and/or your laptop. Unelss you want to wait for the magnetic revolution.