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Fujitsu and partners show off cord-free display using SUPA wireless power (video)

Chris Ziegler
03.01.11
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Cords suck. They tangle, they get lost, they're never long enough, and you never have the kind you need. Indeed, wireless displays are nothing new -- but when you hear "wireless display," you typically think that they've managed to cut the video cable alone. Well, Fujitsu's taken it one step further here at CeBIT this week, throwing together what it claims to be the world's first totally wireless desktop display -- no video, no power. The imagery is handled via wireless USB and can connect to any appropriately-equipped PC, while the juice is sucked in using a newly-minted proposed standard for wireless power delivery called SUPA (developed with the likes of Fraunhofer) that can function over wide surface areas -- in this case, an entire desk. Right now it's just the display, but it's easy to imagine how phones, laptops, tablets, and anything else that requires continuous power or a quick, convenient recharge could benefit from this arrangement rather than needing a special mat (which is, of course, corded) lying around. Fujitsu tells us that SUPA can deliver about 25 watts in its current incarnation, which isn't going to keep your gaming PC going -- but it'll certainly handle your typical handheld device (or, in this case, a 22-inch monitor).

The demo we saw was a little glitchy; the first time we visited the booth, Fujitsu was having a hard time getting the WUSB connection to light up, but it was up and running the second time we dropped by. We got the impression there wasn't quite enough bandwidth to deliver smooth video at this color depth and resolution, but it was good enough for data entry tasks. Likewise, the monitor appeared to flicker from time to time, suggesting that it was either right on the edge of that 25W maximum or just experiencing typical prototype hiccups. On a couple occasions, they lifted the monitor to reset it, and it only required 2-3 inches of lift before power was lost -- so this isn't the kind of thing where you can get up and wander around with a device and expect it to magically continue to charge (we'd be awfully concerned about being turned into beef jerky at those energy levels, anyway).

All told, we're excited about this technology, assuming SUPA can gain enough critical mass in the marketplace to be relevant. They're expecting the first commercial applications next year... so in the meantime, enjoy our pictures and videos while you plan how you're going to rearrange your workspace once you don't have to worry about power cords.

Gallery: Fujitsu and partners show off cord-free display using SUPA wireless power | 11 Photos



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