Nikola Tesla died 70 years ago, but he had the ultimate dream: wireless power. In his time, he was, supposedly, close to having a working prototype. Nevertheless, absolutely zero progress appears to have been made in practical wireless power technology since his death.
That is, until four years ago. In 2009, Eric Giler from WiTricity demonstrated that wireless power sort of exists (with a lot of technical caveats, patents, and government regulation, of course). His demonstration uses magnetic resonance, which comes with major usability tradeoffs, including distance.
Given the inconvenience, expense, and health/fire risks associated with plugging physical wires into the wall, I’m amazed that safe wireless power technology has not been a higher priority in research labs. The first company to commercialize the technology will make billions.
Anyway, watch this interesting but relatively unimpressive video which includes an actual, working demonstration. And imagine how things might be in fifty years.