Going wireless at Christmas

Last year saw the introduction of what is probably the perfect Christmas tree for gadget freaks.

Luckily for my budget, perhaps, I only came across the device after Christmas while researching the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which will be on in Las Vegas this coming week.

CES sounds like heaven for the gadget lover with around 2700 exhibitors from 140 countries exhibiting their new products on stands occupying 1,8 million square feet of floor space.

There’s going to be electronics for every conceivable purpose and very likely some inconceivable ones too. Broad product categories will include audio, gaming, cameras, mobile phones, television, portable video and audio players and GPS.

An advance write-up on the show revealed that one of the exhibitors will be a company called Powercast, who have found out to transmit power wirelessly to devices with their technology built-into them.

They apparently launched their radio frequency harvesting technology at last year’s show and, although adoption by manufacturers has been a bit slow, a Christmas tree with wirelessly-powered lights (standing in a ‘gold-finished’ urn) was launched in time for Christmas.

I’m quite excited by the thought that, one day, I might be able to eliminate the tangle of cables which currently power the peripherals connected to my computer. According to reports, RF harvesting only works for small things like cellphones at the moment, but I’m sure that that will change.

I see that there is already a docking station, intended for use with Ipods, which transmits music signals to its external speakers via radio instead of wires. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for a set of wireless speakers for my PC.

Getting rid of power and speaker wires will be great and it won’t end there, because wireless USB will replace USB cables as well. There is an agreed Wireless USB standard and maybe we’ll start seeing some products introduced at CES.

I think it will be a major improvement to the computing experience to only have a couple of cables powering the major components. It will be much easier to keep things clean and neat as there’ll be less place for the dust bunnies to hide.

Mind you, with all that radio activity going between your peripherals, power being transmitted, and your cell-phone Bluetoothing your computer, you’ll probably be able warm your pies or defrost your vegetables by placing them behind your computer.

That last statement was a joke, :-), by the way. I’m convinced that going wireless will be perfectly safe but it’s bound to worry some sectors of the population.

You can access daily reports on the CES at ces.cnet.com.

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