Researchers from the University of Tokyo demonstrated tables that provide wireless charging and form local networks between devices laid on top of them at the Ceatec electronics show in Japan. The concept was developed from an idea to support wireless ad-hoc networks that are more secure and local than current Wi-Fi networks and do not require cables.
The tables are created from a thin sheet comprised of small mesh panels that contain electromagnetic waves in two dimensions and carry a small electric current. Akihito Noda, a doctoral student at the University of Tokyo states that though in standard wireless connections electromagnetic waves are transmitted through the air, a connection is made in this case by making contact with the surface of the table. Removal of the device from the table’s surface terminates the connection and can be used as a method to terminate fraudulent or harmful connections. According to Noda, that Internet connections run at Wi-Fi speeds using the table and devices laid on its surface charge at approximately 4 watts.
The research team is planning to incorporate the technology into home furniture and hopes that the technology will be used for temporary, instant connections in business meetings or classrooms.