Next Big Thing: harvesting free electricity from the air

There's untapped power all around us, if you know where to look...

Didn't Tesla already try this (and fail)?

Tesla's dreams of wireless electricty were smashed when the electric companies pretty much shut the project down </endpropoganda>. Anyway, this is slightly different. While Tesla's giant tower was going to send out wireless electricity, Drayson's new Freevolt tech makes use of the untapped potential already beaming around us.

Already around us?

Yep. The air we walk through is awash with untapped power. Freevolt harvesters (which consist of an antenna, rectifer and power module) can harvest ambient RF energy from DTV broadcasts, Wi-Fi and mobile signals.

The collected power can then be used to perpetually power devices without ever having to charge them or faff around with batteries again. Clever eh?

So my next smartphone will live forever? Awesome.

Not quite. The power generated by the Freevolt system is miniscule, and definitely won't be enough to power an energy-sucking smartphone.

The first device to use the tech - the CleanSpace Tag is far simpler. It's a mini sensor which measures and maps the air quality around you, and it's powered completely by surrounding RF waves.

This could be the the first step towards potentially larger devices like watches, which can top themselves up over time. Fast forward a bit to perpetually-powered wearables, and we've got ourselves a tech game-changer. Praise science.