Another creative idea from Prof. Someya's group
at the University of Tokyo. A power sheet, which consists of plastic and flexible electronics, can wirelessly supply power to any device that touches its surface.
Someya's power sheet relies on the well-known physical principle of electromagnetic induction and overcomes the limitation in traditional induction systems, which can only spread small amounts of power over a relatively large area, or fairly large amounts of power can only be supplied to precise locations.
Enabled by a novel design and by advances in the fabrication of flexible electronics, the power system consists of two types of sheets: one sheet senses the position of an object, and the other sheet supplies power to the object's point of contact, but not to the rest of the sheet. "In this way, the system selectively feeds power as high as 30 watts to electronic objects placed upon it," Someya says.
Someya's ultimate goal is to implement the device as infrastructure. By producing power sheets, as big as your wall-to-wall carpeting or the wallpaper in your living room, the power in your house will then exist wherever you place a suitably equipped gadget; no more power outlets or power cords.
(Via Technology Review)