A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has successfully powered a 60W light bulb by transferring energy to it wirelessly.
The test worked without a physical connection between the source and the appliance, which was placed more than two metres away.
The MIT team behind the project, led by Professor Marin Soljacic and including Andre Kurs, Aristeidis Karalis, Robert Moffatt, Professor Peter Fisher and Professor John Joannopoulos, refers to the breakthrough as WiTricity.
WiTricity was developed after Professor Soljacic experienced the common problem of his mobile phone running out of power.
"It was probably the sixth time that month that I was awakened by my cellphone beeping to let me know that I had forgotten to charge it," he said. " It occurred to me that it would be great if the thing took care of its own charging."
This led Professor Soljacic to investigate ways to transmit power wirelessly without using wasteful radiation-based techniques.
The MIT team found the answer in magnetically coupled resonance. Two resonant objects of the same frequency tend to exchange energy efficiently, while interacting weakly with extraneous off-resonant objects.
The successful MIT test mirrors a similar technology announced by Powercast in April this year.
The technology works up to a distance of around one metre and has a maximum output of 6V.
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