E is for energy, as in pCell technology …. Wait! What?
You might be thinking: “Yip, it’s happened; this journo has lost his marbles/piglets” – or whatever other noun is used to describe the corrosion of one’s sanity … But the ten alphabetical steps from E to P have me completely bonkers with joy: And here is why.
I’m a bit of a geek – and proud of it. Techno tools get my heart racing, as I simply adore gadgets, gizmos and some serious technological advances. Pioneered by Artemis Networks, a San Francisco-based start-up, this is exactly what pCell (or personal cell) is.
The name says it all … With conventional cellular networks the towers form large “reception” cells. If you’re in the cell, you’ve got reception – if you’re outside it, you don’t. And these cells don’t like to overlap, as this causes interference, which could result in a lost signal. Mobile devices also have to take turns in the specific cell, as their signals would interfere with each other should they run at the same time.
But pCell technology turns the entire problem inside out. Instead of dodging interference, it embraces and exploits the collision of radio waves – combining transmitted signals from multiple pCell base stations (about the size of a hatbox), called pWaves, to synthesise tiny personal cells (about one centimetre in diameter) around each mobile device’s antenna.
So, rather than hundreds of users taking turns sharing the capacity of one large cell, each user gets an unshared pCell – giving the full wireless capacity to each user simultaneously. “pCell technology is a complete reinvention of wireless,” says Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of Artemis Networks. “It delivers on the long-sought dream of ubiquitous, fast internet – with the reliability and consistency previously only achievable through a wired connection.”
And, according to Perlman, the technology can be commercially deployed by the end of this year. But the real reason for my absolute glee is pCell’s prospect of transmitting wireless power!
In his article entitled: How Steve Perlman’s “Revolutionary” Wireless Technology Works – and Why it’s a Bigger Deal than Anyone Realises: Imran Akbar, a San Francisco-based data scientist, states that Perlman has filed two patents that substantiate this hypothesis; one on using radio signals to power a vehicle and another to power aeroplanes.
He notes that, where others have failed with wireless power, pCell technology would, theoretically, be able to achieve this. “The power being transmitted would be split among hundreds of antennas, each of which is individually not transmitting harmfully high levels of radio frequency energy,” writes Akbar. “At the location of the receiver, the radio frequency energy constructively interferes to add up to the necessary power required, and everywhere else the radio waves just add up to noise.”
This means that, as Akbar points out, consumer electronics will never need to be plugged in again, as they could be powered wirelessly at home and in the office. “With transmission towers spaced every kilometre along major highways, electric cars would not need massive, expensive batteries,” he points out.
And this is just the tip of the pCell wireless iceberg … Awesome, right!