As users of mobile technology, many of us are familiar with the wireless solutions that are available for all of the different types of communication and even charging. QI and PMA are a couple of the wireless charging standards found in modern mobile phones and tablets, but what about your PC? Smartphones and tablets are just miniature computers (albeit running mobile-optimized operating systems), so why aren’t they seeing all of the wireless love that we already see in our mobile devices? Well, Intel says that you should and they aim to make your next PC totally wireless by 2016.
If you have a desktop PC in your home or office, you know that there are a myriad of wires spewing out of the back of it to allow it to do the things that it does. Power, display, and your mouse and keyboard are just a few of the things that might be crawling around behind your desk. Intel saw this and the fact that we already have wireless solutions for all of those things in our mobile devices and asked the question, “Why?” Why do we still have all of those wires coming out of the back of our desktop computers? There are tons of established standards for transmitting a display, audio, electricity, and tons of other things without wires, so why is it that if I want to move my PC, I need to take my rat’s nest with it?
The main driver behind making computers wireless, however, is going to be Intel’s newest standard of wireless data transfer that they call WiGig. WiGig has a much shorter range than normal WiFi (about 10 meters) but can carry much more data, far more quickly. It can transfer data at speeds as high as 7gb/s by comparison to about 1.3gb/s that is allowed by the fastest WiFi technology, 802.11ac. It’s already being used in some Dell computers for wireless displays, so it’s not as far off as we may think.
As I mentioned earlier, they also want to bring wireless power to our computers. This is probably going to reach laptops first, but this writer is sure it will eventually reach desktops as well. I think it’s only a matter of time before we have furniture with wireless charging built in, allowing us to simply place our wireless compatible devices on the surface of your kitchen table to charge it. More than likely, that’s not what we’re talking about with this particular project, probably more along the lines of what we are already seeing, with special pads to lie our devices on. However, according to the original report on ComputerWorld, Intel’s VP Kirk Skaugen demonstrated a wireless charging solution at the Computex trade show opening keynote that involved simply putting a laptop on a table, with the connection clearly being stronger as the laptop got closer to the table.
At the end of the day, one is forced to wonder how much convenience Intel will be bringing to the table (no pun intended) with this type of advancement, and how much of it is just technology for the sake of technology. One thing is for sure, though, and that is that it will be really cool when it finally starts to happen.