The core design of ceiling fans hasn't altered in the 150 years or so since they first made an appearance. Most ceiling fans cool by blowing air straight down, which is fine if you're standing directly underneath the blades, but of less use for regulating and homogenizing the overall air temperature in the room. Nik Hiner, via his company Exhale Fans, is trying to disrupt the industry with an innovative new design.
Calling all Tesla fans! Electrical engineer Greg Leyh and his team at the Lightning on Demand organization (LOD) in California are raising the funds necessary to build the world's largest twin Tesla coils (ten stories high, about 120 ft/37 m) that will be capable of generating electric arcs more than 200 feet (60 m) long. Dubbed the "Lightning Foundry," the project currently consists of a working 1:12 scale prototype. When complete, a towering pair of coils will fill a football field-sized area with massive electric bolts that researchers hope will reveal some of the mysteries of this beautiful but deadly force.
So, you've downloaded some songs by Abney Park (one of the world's few steampunk bands) onto your Datamancer laptop
or your Old Time Computers
-accessorized PC ... do you just listen to them through the built-in speakers? Not if you're Polish tinkerer Conscious Flesh. He has created a speaker that not only looks delightfully mad-Victorian-scientist-esque, but it actually produces sound using plasma discharges. Nikola Tesla would definitely approve.
Nikola Tesla once dreamed of being able to harness electricity from the air. Now, research being conducted at Brazil’s University of Campinas (UC) is indicating that such a scenario may indeed become a reality. Professor Fernando Galembeck, a UC chemist, is leading the study into the ways in which electricity builds up and spreads in the atmosphere, and how it could be collected. “Our research could pave the way for turning electricity from the atmosphere into an alternative energy source for the future," he stated. "Just as solar energy could free some households from paying electric bills, this promising new energy source could have a similar effect.”
It seems strange to think that in today’s age of ever advancing technology, it’s been over 100 years since Nikola Tesla
began developing theories for wireless power, and though researchers at MIT
have picked up the baton in recent times, we’re still waiting for an efficient, mass-market way to abolish reams of unsightly cables from our homes. The Powermat
, demonstrated at CES 2009, is one product that threatens to kick-start this revolution. Another early mover in the market is WildCharge
and we've been testing one of these devices to find out first hand what all the fuss is about.
It's fascinating to think that while Edison and Tesla battled over the ascendancy of AC versus DC
, most of the world didn't think this electricity thing was going to take off - I mean, who was going to spend trillions of dollars rolling out great coils of copper wire to bring this thing to the masses? Nikola Tesla was thinking along the same lines, and the Serbian genius's mysterious Wardenclyffe Tower
was to be an experiment in beaming electricity wirelessly across the world, eliminating the need for a wired power grid altogether. But wireless electricity has been enjoying a cautious revival in the past decade - mainly at short distance and for reasonably trivial applications like charging cell phones and other battery-powered equipment. And as Eric Giler's great ten-minute demonstration at this year's TEDGlobal shows, wireless power
seems very close to breaking through into the mainstream market.
The promise of wireless electricity has been around for over 100 years but the technology is only just reaching the point of commercial viability. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, half a dozen companies are demonstrating wireless power products that will be on sale as early as April this year to recharge your laptop, iPhone or power tools.
Drawing on significant 2007 work by MIT
, Intel researchers are hoping to "cut the final cord" and do away with power cords using wireless electricity transmission pioneered by Nikolas Tesla more than 100 years ago.
This has to be one of the most 'futuristic' developments we've seen in some time; a new U.S. patent has been awarded to a company that has plans for a safe, silent personal flight device using electromagnetic ion propulsion as its primary thrust generator and drawing its power wirelessly from earthbound inductive green power broadcast stations. California's Personal Flight Systems are taking a serious look at the future of personal flight, and the technology involved will leave you shaking your head.