I have been following wireless electricity in this blog for some time now, through these previous posts:
Wireless Electricity (multiple updates within)
Here's the most recent installment of news on the topic.
It looks like the folks at WiTricity, of whom I am their biggest fan, in Massachusetts are well on their way to having a commercial wireless electricity product on the market within the next 12-14 months. Based on this timing it will just miss the 2010 Christmas shopping season.
I wonder if this is a commercial product that can then be integrated into other manufacturers devices through OEM arrangements (ie: iPhone, now compatible with WiTricity for wireless charging) or a direct consumer device that you can either purchase individual device interfaces for or that will have multi-connector functionality built-in.
Since the whole point of wireless charging is about removing chords and the concept of proximity of devices to power sources I hope they are able to offer individual device interfaces at launch and then eventually become so important to the market that they will get the OEM arrangements, like BlueTooth has done.
Considering the fact that people use chord-based charging stations to power up their mobile devices now, the move to wireless electrical charging will also cause a new problem which is "I can't find my [insert device name]." When it comes to cell phones you will at least be able to call your phone, assuming it isn't on vibrate, to locate it within your house since the battery won't be dead... as long as you're a member of the younger generations who never turn their mobile phone off.
It amazes me how often my parents and those of their generation (early sixties now) still turn their mobile phones off at various times. Anyway, my point is that for devices other than mobile phones (battery powered vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and especially smaller ones like watches, hand-vacs, etc) an audible locating feature might be a great addition. You could use a central WiTricity panel to cause each device to beep at you for a bit to remind you where you hid it last.
The WiTricity system sounds like it will give you enough freedom to fully misplace your items without any concern of them losing a full charge. What a fun problem to have.