A thin beam of invisible laser light has been used to safely charge a smartphone across a room. The experiment by researchers at the Univeristy of Washington lends credence to the futuristic idea that one day all computers could operate without any plugs or wires — that’s both for data and power.
The revolutionary smartphone-charging laser system, which functions from up to 40 feet away, detects devices through inaudible acoustic chirps, according to its desginers at the university. It then zaps a couple watts of power at them using laser beams. Importantly, it does it safely and is potentially scalable to computers.