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IEEE highlights emerging tech

Posted: 19 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:research  emerging technologies  intelligent computing  wireless power 

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has formed a panel of experts to discuss emerging research technologies that could change the world. These include multi-mode biometrics, intelligent computing and wireless power.

"For 125 years, IEEE and its members have influenced the creation of nearly all the technologies we now cannot imagine life without," said 2008 IEEE president Lewis Terman at an event here. Terman, IBM Research Emeritus, predicted that development of emerging technologies will be "for the betterment of humanity."

Wireless power
Katie Hall, CTO of start-up WiTricity Corp., said the company's goal is to make its wireless electricity technology "as commonplace as batteries and extension cords."

WiTricity is an exclusive licensee of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the technology, which takes off where today's inductive systems utilising "charging cradles" fall short. Even though the inductive systems eliminate the need for a power cord, current systems require that the device being charged be in close proximity to the power source.

By contrast, WiTricity technology, based on resonant magnetic coupling, can operate over a broad range of distances and power levels.

Typically, a power source will wirelessly transfer electricity to a mobile phone or laptop that has a wireless power-capture device built into it and is tightly integrated with its rechargeable battery. WiTricity is also working on wireless charging of electric vehicles and lighting. Products expected to reach the market as soon as next year. "It is designed to bring the benefits of wireless power to consumer, industrial, medical, military and transportation markets," said Hall.

Intelligent computing
IBM Almaden Research Center researchers detailed their work on the SyNAPSE project. Dharmendra Modha, manager of cognitive computing, described how his team has engineered computers that simulate the brain's abilities for sensation, perception, action, interaction and cognition.

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