Many of us can now wirelessly stream images from a computer to a screen over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi without too much trouble, but the display is still inevitably powered by cables. At CeBIT 2011, Fujitsu is showing off a working prototype of a 22-inch computer display that receives both images and power wirelessly. The power transfer is made possible by magnetic induction technology – similar to Powermat chargers – that's concentrated into hotspots built into office furniture or conference tables.
I remember being somewhat disappointed when I bought my first wireless telephone. Although there were no cables connecting the handset to the base, there were still numerous wires joining the base to the power outlet and the telephone socket, and there was even one dangling down the back to provide a better signal.
Happily, wireless technology has moved on somewhat since then and we're now at a point where our homes are filled to the brim with computing solutions that connect to the internet without needing to be positioned next to a router, televisions and audio systems that can play digital media from a box located in another part of the house and mobile phones that can be charged by placing them on a special mat.
Now Fujitsu, working with the Fraunhofer Institute and other German partners under a project funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs, has developed a completely wireless solution for the provision of power and images to a computer display.
The new 22-inch proof-of-concept, park and play, wire-free monitor receives its power using something called Smart Universal Power Access (SUPA) technology. The display is placed on a hotspot area of a desk and draws power via magnetic induction from a transmitter located inside the desk or office panel or conference table, making as safe to use as electric toothbrush chargers. It receives its images over wireless USB from a desktop PC or notebook within a range of up to 10 meters (32 feet).
"We are planning to introduce the first models incorporating totally wireless power technology to our LED-backlit display range within the next year," said Fujitsu's Rajat Kakar. "This is another technology innovation from Fujitsu, following on from our 0-Watt PCs and displays. In operation, there's no difference in quality from the desktop image – except that we've consigned cables to the history books of display technology."
The working prototype is currently on display at the Fujitsu booth in the Dealers only section at CeBIT 2011. Pricing details are expected at launch.