Takuya Sasatani of the University of Tokyo is working to develop wireless charging technology that can eliminate cables from the room.
The latest smartphones already have wireless charging capabilities, but you still need to place your phone on the charging pad and wait for it to finish charging. In the meantime, the phone cannot be held or operated freely, making the actual user experience not much different from that of a wired connection.
Sasatani, a researcher in the field of wireless power transfer, has developed a groundbreaking technology that could upend this situation. With his original approach of distributing electric current around the room in a way that generates multiple 3D magnetic fields, he has achieved a power transmission of several watts that can cover an entire room several meters wide—the first of its kind in the world. The achievement of high power wireless charging in a large space had previously been thought to be impossible. When the transmitter and receiver devices are of extremely different sizes, it is technically challenging to transmit power efficiently, but Sasatani's technology is able to supply power at an efficiency of more than 50% even if the transmitter size is 5000 times larger than the receiver size.
Sasatani's research results were published in Nature Electronics and attracted a great deal of attention. He is now working in collaboration with other researchers to build wireless charging sheets that users can cut and paste onto furniture or clothing.
The advancement of wireless telecommunications technology has enabled the connection of all kinds of devices to wireless networks, resulting in the proliferation of mobile and IoT devices. However, supplying power still requires connecting cables and replacing batteries, and according to Sasatani, "there have been no fundamental advancements in the last few decades." Sasatani is also aiming to develop technology that can send tens of watts of power across an entire room. If he succeeds, it may have as great an impact on our lifestyles as wireless technology.