Eric Giler heads WiTricity, a startup with a product straight out of science fiction: wireless electricity, beamed from a base station to your electrical devices. The technology was developed by an MIT team led by theoretical physicist Marin Soljaƒçiƒá (who won a MacArthur "genius"grant last year). Now, WiTricity is one of several startups developing tech to safely transmit power through the air -- and potentially untether our electronic age.
The technology at the core of WiTricity's approach is called magnetic coupled resonance, which can provoke an energetic response at a distance between two coils, one powered, the other not. If the two coils are correctly tuned to one another, energy flows from the connected one (installed, say, on the ceiling of a room) into the other (inside, say, your laptop). Giler presented a demo of it at TEDGlobal 2009 -- and several companies are already planning to add it to their phones, cameras, TVs and other devices.