How incredibly expensive and impractical. 25% wastage? Bonkers.
Sony claims to have proven that reaching around the back of your TV to find that elusive power plug could, one day, become a problem of the past. The electronics giant has trialled an in-house “wireless power supply system” in Japan, which the firm claimed enabled a 22in LCD to wirelessly receive around 60W of power sent over …
save 25% , by plugging a cable in!
This current fad for cable-less tech does seem perculiar , after all wires *work*, don't they ? Okay so maybe a lot of interconnects could go via wireless to cut down on all those myriad of hdmi cables we'll all end up with, but the power cable , is it really that bad ?
With the extended range, does that drop power even more ? I'm guessing the 22inch device was because the tech looks even worse when applied to larger tv's with larger power requirements ?
With all the concerns about harmful electromagnetic radiation from a minuscule low-power device like a mobile phone, I can't help but think there will be bigger concerns about something pumping out around 100W, and many tens of kW if everything in each home were powered over the airwaves.
I should imagine the technology is going to be interesting for anyone with a pacemaker, with any electronic device really.
If everyone adopted the technology, I guess the planet will light up like a Christmas Tree for any aliens idly running their version of SETI. So, to be on the safe side, I for one welcome ...
Just what we need in this day and age. A new way to waste energy and another excuse to throw something perfectly serviceable into the bin.
..and how often exactly are people 'scrabbling around the back of the telly for a power cable'?
So basically a wasteful solution to a none existent problem.
This sounds like they are using induction, just like we did at A-level physics, where the volatage and current generated in the second coil depend on the ratio of coils that pass through the magnetic field.
Problems with this include having to prevent your next door neighbour stealing your power through the wall and problems with stray cables in the magnetic field and bits of iron being propelled aross the livingroom....
But assuming they find new laws of physics to solve these problems, its sounds interesting...
This is You telephone support Line
Op: Please take you 52" plasma at least 10M of your house for 30 min then bring i back inside again
......30 min later
User: it wont turn on
Op: What do you mean it wont work ???
User: Well i towelled it off and it doesnt work
Op: Towelled it off ?????
User: Yeah it was raining
Sweet! Instead of a 10 foot power cord, I can just have a row of 6 or 8 giant coils lined up on the floor! And increase my power bill! Sounds great, Sony.
In all seriousness, I suppose this is a prototype. But just by laws of physics, I think efficiency will never get close to what's achievable by just using a power cord, which to me seems like an important consideration.
I'm sure someone who knows electricty will be able to explain- does this magnetic induction thing mean that any ferrous metals nearby will be attracted/repelled/magnetised?
Will it affect my precious collection of stereo cassette tapes, which I used to kill music through the medium of home taping back in the nineties.
I presume the thinking behind this idea goes: people like wandering around their houses/ cafes etc with wireless devices (laptops etc). The trouble is those toys tend to have a lousy battery life. So wouldn't be neat if they could get their power wirelessly as well? The answer to that question is yes.
However the problem is to get anything like efficient transfer (and Sony's claimed efficiencies are pretty good) you need a carefully tuned set up. The transmitter and receiver need to be very specific shapes and need to be located with great precision. This is where the idea falls down. You cannot simultaneously wander around with something and keep that something in a precise place.
Yes I know Sony are talking about this as a TV supply, but thats a bonkers idea commercially (who wanders round their house with a 22 inch TV?) I guess they used that because the TV was the smallest device that their tuned antenna would fit into...
let's replace nice reliable power wires with two huge 40cm wide coils that will send the power.... almost two feet! Not to mention at great inefficiency and to the potential detriment of any other electrical devices in the vicinity.
Anyone who thinks wireless power is a good idea really needs to get their head checked out, maybe a qualified medical professional can tell them where their remaining brain cells have gone.
Used to be that only Apple fanboys were impressed by this kind of blatant gimmickry, now the wireless virus has leaked out and infected everyone. We use copper wires because they are the best way to send power, and second best at signaling, only beaten by fiber optic.
No one needs a completely wireless TV. Anyone who thinks they do needs to remove their head from where it is stuck. Possibly with the aid of the local fire brigade.
I was about to say the same. One of the oldest electrical technologies in existence. "Magnetic Resonance" my arse. It's age old magnetic induction. The stuff you learn in school physics! (or used to. Probably don't these days. Probably just have to prove you can switch on a socket to get an A).
And before anyone says it's the first use outside of transformers, there are loads of devices that already power like this. Even my electric toothbrush charges this way.
But Sony will slap a funky name on it, colour it blue, patent it and be able to dominate the market for "wireless power". If Apple don't do it first that is ;) (in which case, funky name, colour it white, etc).
TV's are not exaclty portable devices.... WTF would I care if I have to deal with a power plug once every several years when i move furniture or get a new TV?
Even if the efficiency was 100%, it's still going to be a nasty price bump to include this technology.
I'm somewhat interested in newer induction charging pads for pocket devices, as the ease of placing one on a pad instead of plugging it in is attractive, but not for a device that hardly ever moves!
For $300 up front, and 25% more on the power bill, they'll save me what, 20 seconds over 5 years? When I make $10,000 an hour, i might considder it, as then it will actually make sense.
Now all we need is a can of "Monster Air" with oxygen-rich particles to improve your power transfer and see crisper pictures with cleaner-sounding audio!
Simply spray Monster AirGapMax 3000 in the gap between your television and the power transmitter for 15 seconds before each viewing session, and then once again for 15 seconds every hour.
A full can lasts almost 5 days!!
Only £37 per 500ml can.
" reaching around the back of your TV to find that elusive power plug could, one day, become a problem of the past."
Now you have to reach around the back of the TV and the power transmitter to get to the power plug. So you have replaced a cheap 1 metre power cord with an expensive power transmitter and a 1/2 metre power cable.
When more and more people start using this kind of thing, isn't it going to create huge amounts of electromagnetic noise - yes I know its down in the 50Hz range, but hell.
Oh, and since a connection has been shown between living near high tension power lines and increased frequency of Leukemia, whats this going to do to public health once it becomes commonplace and manufacters crank up the power output to drive high consumption devices at larger distances....
Finally - @AC "you're" != "your"
"Anyone who thinks wireless power is a good idea really needs to get their head checked out, maybe a qualified medical professional can tell them where their remaining brain cells have gone."
yeah your right, next someone will be wanting to use burned-out florescent lights upto 50 feet away to light up their rooms wirelessly, perhaps in 118 years they might just about be starting to understand the ramifications and try and commercialise these things.
for ever your Mr Tesla.
Please explain how using an air-gap transformer is more efficient than using wires.
If it isn't then this technology is pointless. Whether you believe in all the Carbons bollocks or not we're still facing problems supplying enough energy to a growing world population.
For a tech site the forums sure are full of crusty old luddites and reactionaries. I can just imagine you all when the first barely audible recordings were stored on those scratchy wax cylinders, and the first air craft went bouncing along the ground. Those recordings were hardly hi-fi and you couldnt really call that flight, but look at what we have done since then. You guys are so cynical and have a total lack of any imagination; its a wonder you can bother getting out of bed in the morning. The only reason you don't slash your wrists is because you just know the next life is going to be crap too.
Apologies if anyone else has already made a similar point - I got so bored and depressed by the first couple screen fulls of comments I had to fight the urge to stick my head in the microwave oven and couldnt read any further.
...all the half-blind idiots whining about "Why are we doing this when there's global warming / hungry people / etc" to do their part by not wasting electricity posting on el Reg comment sections. Sound fair?
And @CureForSanity, I'm going to requote your post here, since it's so apt:
"Do you mean to say Mr Wright that you can't get across the Atlantic? What an incredibly expensive and impractical waste of effort your Flyer is, you must be bonkers!"
It's not down at 50Hz, it's high frequency so there will be rf interference radiated. there's nothing new in this, as other posters have said, it's high school physics.
About 40 years ago I had a setup for doing this -- I had a tungsten filament bulb with a short length of copper wire connected to it's terminals -- I would leave it sitting on the table using the copper loop as a support holding it upright. Much to peoples surprise, it would suddenly light up.
Hidden under the table was a high frequency oscillator with a purposely designed tank coil sending the output upwards, the copper wire on the bulb formed the secondary of the transformer picking up enough energy to light the bulb easily (almost to the point of burning it out).
No idea of efficiency, it was just done for a laugh, you could pick the bulb up and it would remain lit -- it would get dimmer as it was taken further away from the table though.
I have heard that in Japan the housewife carries a portable TV around the house as she does the housework much as your British housewife might used to have carried a small transistor radio around (in the days before personal stereos, or DAB sets' need for mains power).
Besides the general issues of such wireless power transfer (like the RF magnetic field exceeding internationally-recognised human-safety standards by a factor of several hundred or more - in the case of US university demos a year or two ago), with LCD modules you've got the additional problem that you'd normally have large areas of sheet metal, which will act as a shorted turn and sap all the power. I expect they had to do some major redesign of the TV assembly to make it work at all.
of the manufacturer knowingly and with malice aforethought suppling a power cord that is either between 1 and 6 inches too short, or has a box on it that is a few mm to wide to sit beside a piece of furniture - or is supplied with a "handed" plug (ie cord comes does not come out of the bottom) which is always the wrong way round - or all of the above
Often, I enjoy the comments on TheReg as much as the article itself. But when it comes to this new technology, the level of ignorance about fundamentals of physics is just stunning.
I won't link you to anything that might assume you're got more brainpower than a slug, so here is a really pretty, simple, straight-forward demo for you all:
The URL name speaks for itself.
Back in the early years of the 21st century, an outfit at that time called Splashpower were trying to use inductive coupling for power delivery for small appliances.
Some readers may remember it being reported here on El Reg:
The technology was so succesful that in May 2008 they went into administration (as do a great many new businesses), as again reported here on El Reg:
See also the non-product WiTricity.
Quite how this doesn't warrant a mention in yet another article on the non-product which is inductive coupling, especially at non-trivial power levels over non-trivial distances, is left as an exercise to the reader.
Wireless Power Consortium:
"Short distance power transmission is usually based on the principle of magnetic induction. With this technology, power is transferred only if the receiver is close to the transmitter."
"Do you mean to say Mr Wright that you can't get across the Atlantic? What an incredibly expensive and impractical waste of effort your Flyer is, you must be bonkers!"
Do you mean to say Mr Boffo that your invention cannot reach <insert-bad-country-du-jour>? What an incredibly expensive and impractical waste of effort your Custard Pie Cannon is, you must be bonkers!
The earth's magnetic field here at the surface, where we all live our whole lives (practically), has a field strength of about half a gauss. If a microgauss device like a cell phone can induce cancer, it's about 4.5 billion years too late to do anything about it.
What's old is new again with reboots of classic devices for gaming and music coming out all the time. But that kitsch value comes at a cost, even if the tech is from the current era.
Audiophiles want digital music players that leave out cellular components in favor of sound-quality-maximizing gadgets – or at least that's what Sony appears to be betting on with the introduction of a $3,700 so-called Walkman this week.
Before you ask, no it can't play actual tapes, which means it's not really a Walkman at all but rather an Android 11 media player that can stream and play downloaded music via apps, much like your smartphone can probably do. But we won't talk about that because gold plating.
Sony on Friday launched a subsidiary dedicated to optical communications – in space.
The new company, Sony Space Communications Corporation (SSCC) plans to develop small optical communication devices that connect satellites in low Earth orbit using a laser beam, and provide the resulting connection as a service.
These small devices can provide high speed communication more effectively than radio, because they do not need a large antenna, high power output or complicated licenses, said Sony in a canned statement.
Sony Computer Science Laboratories (CSL) and the Japanese space agency have conducted an experiment to transmit data from the stratosphere to space and declared the results promising as a complete file was delivered at 446 megabits per second.
Data networking is hard in space, because distances and latency are substantial and radiation can impact transmissions. Those challenges have led to efforts like the Interplanetary networking SIG and its delay-tolerant networking (DTN) tech that makes internet standards work despite the challenges of space.
DTN also addresses the problem of network nodes disappearing over the horizon – and therefore beyond the reach of radio or optical signals – by (as its name implies) not getting grumpy if packets take a while to reach their intended destinations.
Retired Microsoft engineer, Dave Plummer, offered a blast from the past last week with a look back at the infamous Sony Windows "rootkit" scandal.
Sony has detailed plans to expand its sensors business and make it more relevant to edge computing and the internet of things, while also outlining growth plans in gaming, anime, and electric cars.
In an outline [PDF] of a new strategy outlined yesterday in Tokyo, Sony said in the past eight years it has concentrated resources particularly towards CMOS image sensors to secure a dominant position in the imaging applications and sensing market.
Positioning its investment as a contribution to the “evolution of IoT technology,” Sony said:
The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. In May, the industry finally pushed some hot properties out the door including Resident Evil Village, Biomutant, and the Mass Effect remasters. But we opted to check out something just a little bit older.
Though pop culture might have reached peak zombie almost a decade ago, Oregon-based Bend Studio still managed to walk away with a decent game in the 2019 PlayStation 4 "exclusive" Days Gone. We say "exclusive" because we've been playing the PC port, which came out on 18 May. This follows a recent trend of titles made specifically for Sony's last-gen console being re-released for PC a couple of years later including Death Stranding and Horizon Zero Dawn.
Yes, the world stopped giving a toss after the eleventy-first season of AMC's flagging comic book adaptation The Walking Dead, but somehow surviving a zombie apocalypse remains a gripping setting for many – yours truly included. Even if it's one of the most done-to-death concepts under the sun, Bend has done a fantastic job of rendering an Oregon scorched by a mysterious viral epidemic that has turned 99 per cent of the population into rabid, shambling cannibals.
Sony and Kawasaki Heavy Industries have created a new joint venture to build a platform that allows remote work through teleoperated robots.
The pair last week announced that they’ll pump ¥100,000,000 (US$920,000) into a company that plans to build a “remote robot platform”.
The Register prefers to call it a “Workman”.
Hoping to regain ground lost to competitors in China and South Korea, Sony today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone: the €899 Xperia 5 II.
Sony was once one of the first companies to get behind Android and pushed out a range of smartphones much loved for their design and features. But the days of the Walkman phone have passed, and the Japanese firm is vying to keep pace with high end Android-slingers like Samsung.
As you'd expect from a late-2020 device, Sony's latest handset includes support for 5G, as well as other design quirks seldom found on contemporary blowers, including dual front-facing speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Sony has announced a drone division called “Airpeak”.
The company has said very little about what it plans to send down the runway at the division’s formal launch in (northern) Spring 2021.
Airpeak is billed as operating "in the field of AI robotics" and Sony has said its “imaging and sensing technology as well as 3R technologies (Reality, Real-time and Remote)" will be part of its products.
Sony and Kioxia have reportedly requested waivers from the US government that would allow them to supply Huawei with components.
While it's not immediately known what specific components they hope to sell to the hard pressed Chinese business, one can make an informed guess. Kioxia, formerly Toshiba Memory Corporation, is the world's second largest manufacturer of NAND flash storage, with an estimated 17.2 per cent of the market, and it was the ninth biggest semiconductor manufacturer in 2019.
Sony, on the other hand, dominates the image sensor market, with an estimated 49.1 per cent market share in 2019. According to Nikkei Asia, Huawei is Sony's second-largest buyer of image sensors after Apple, accounting for a fifth of its sales.
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