Imagine a TV with no wires. You\'re talking about WiFi, right? No, we mean no wires, at all. Haier, the Chinese company better known as an appliance manufacturer, is showcasing a new technology here at CES that conducts electricity wireless to the TV...
The wireless power that Haier showcased at CES was not a new product ready for market. It's a new technology, and it wasn't actually created by Haier at all. Rather, the company has partnered with another tech firm called WiTricity. The spokesperson for WiTricity was quite knowledgeable, but of course wasn't ready to spill all the beans quite yet. Here's what we could get.
The technology involved here is called Doubled Magnetic Resonance, which is not new in itself, but appears to be applied in a television here for the first time (at least that we've heard of). The power is coming from a coil, in that black box behind the TV. Inside the chassis is a second coil, which is induced by the powering coil into creating a current. Both coils are tuned to the same frequency.The frequency for the Haier set-up is in the low megahertz range, somewhere below 10MHz (they would not specify exactly).
The maximum possible distance between the two is dependent on the application. For the Haier TV, it could operate from about 1-2 meters. Clearly, they wanted this demo to work on the show floor, however, because the two are only about 2 feet apart.If you follow tech news, you've probably seen the Powermat charger for cell phones and small electronics. That works with a similar but different technology called traditional induction, and requires contact between the two surfaces, or at least proximity within a few millimeters.
The fact that the coils are tuned to the same frequency is what WiTricity claims as the reason their set-up is so efficient – about 80% efficiency. The Haier HL32K1 requires an average 100 watts of power, so the powering coil is feeding approximately 120 watts.
Some of you are surely wondering at this point if this technology is dangerous or carcinogenic. In fact, about five people asked that while we were at the booth. They assured us that the output is purely magnetic – there is no radiation being emitted to power the device, which explains, in part, why the power source needs to be so close.
The video signal, of course, a different matter. It runs over Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI), a recently developed standard that a lot of manufacturers are getting behind. It's not WiFi, but most consumers may equate it with WiFi simply because it's a wireless data transfer.
Then, of course, there's the TV itself that was being experimented upon. The Haier HL32K1 is a pretty standard entry level 32-inch LCD television with CCFL backlighting. It's only a 720p display. Should this product come to market, you can guarantee that it won't be packaged in this 2009 television.