I've been all about the future this week, writing about a futuristic cotton-candy maker and conceptual kitchen designs that may one day become common place. And why not? It seems appropriate, what with the stock market riding a roller coaster and a wonky economy on everybody's mind. It's nice to sit back, relax a little, and think of what the far-out future could bring us.
For example, wireless electricity. Anybody who has ever searched for an available outlet to plug something into (which should be just about everybody) knows how beneficial the technology could be. I know my kitchen doesn't have enough outlets, and when I can free one up, it's never in the right place.
Household appliances look to follow cell phones and laptops into the arena of wireless power. There is a big difference between charging MP3 players, on the one hand, and food processors, on the other. Most handheld devices simply don't eat up a lot of juice; not so when it comes to kitchen tools. Grills and blenders require a lot more power to get the job done. However, as witnessed in the video above, the kitchen holds the promise of a wireless future.
Fulton Innovation is the creator behind eCoupled and its intelligent wireless power. The process begins by supplying power the old fashioned way (with wires) into a primary coil, which would be embedded underneath a counter or work surface. This flow of energy would then induce an electric current in a nearby secondary coil. Multiple appliances could run at the same time using this tech. The technology dates back to as early as 1893 with Nikola Tesla, but has never achieved mainstream success.
Even as we head towards the future, the past is never very far behind us. Keep in mind financial bubbles go back a lot further than the turbulence of recent memory. Check out the 17th-century Dutch tulip craze for instance. Crazy economies and wireless power aren't anything new, so raise those strawberry-banana smoothies as a toast to the future--and remember to keep one eye on the past.