WiTricity: Holy cow, that's Wireless Power
"Imagine a future in which wireless power transfer is feasible: cell phones, household robots, mp3 players, laptop computers and other portable electronics capable of charging themselves without ever being plugged in, freeing us from that final, ubiquitous power wire. Some of these devices might not even need their bulky batteries to operate."
That's what 'WiTricity' the wireless power transmission technology made by a bunch of geeks at MIT will be doing for you in a few years or a decade from now. Yeah, we know it's sounds fictional but it isn't.
According to MIT, the story behind WiTricity goes like this:
"The story starts one late night a few years ago, with Soljacic (pronounced Soul-ya-cheech) standing in his pajamas, staring at his cell phone on the kitchen counter. "It was probably the sixth time that month that I was awakened by my cell phone beeping to let me know that I had forgotten to charge it. It occurred to me that it would be so great if the thing took care of its own charging." To make this possible, one would have to have a way to transmit power wirelessly, so Soljacic started thinking about which physical phenomena could help make this wish a reality."
The key to the WiTricity magic is based on a physics concept named 'Magnetic Coupled Resonance'. From the MIT Website, "Two resonant objects of the same resonant frequency tend to exchange energy efficiently, while interacting weakly with extraneous off-resonant objects. A child on a swing is a good example of this. A swing is a type of mechanical resonance, so only when the child pumps her legs at the natural frequency of the swing is she able to impart substantial energy."
So, essentially you can power pretty much anything in the room - laptops, cellphones and use them without plugging it in sometime soon. Though, MIT doesn't have answer to when we will see mass production of WiTricity technology or WiTricity compatible devices, we expect perhaps 10 years or so would be a good time to estimate a commercial implementation of this wireless power technology.
Of course, when it happens you will need to perhaps cover yourself with plastic clothes to protect from electricution from wireless power. ;)