Wireless chargers are one of those technologies that sound futuristic until you realise that (a) they already exist and have for years and (b) you probably already have one in your electric toothbrush or smartphone.
Still, there's something that is still undeniably cool about putting a gadget on a plate and watching it fill with electricity.
And now it looks like it's about to get even cooler. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a wireless charger on another scale altogether.
The 'DCRS' (Dipole Coil Resonant System) box is a nine-foot long beast which can charge up to 40 mobile phones, tablets or even TV sets from more than 15 feet away.
The system is so advanced it could potentially be used to power an entire office worth of equipment and gadgets. Or it could be installed around a city or a home, and mean you never have to worry about charging your stuff again.
Chun T. Rim, a professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, said in a statement:
"Our technology proved the possibility of a new remote power delivery mechanism that has never been tried at such a long distance. Although the long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialization and quite costly to implement, we believe that this is the right direction for electric power to be supplied in the future.
"Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices. We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries."
There are many other systems of wireless charging in development too, so this might actually happen sooner than you think. It's not quite Nicolai Tesla's city-sized wireless power network, but it's close.Suggest a correction