Feb 18, 2010
Science Scene - Minority Report Imminent?
Like any incremental technology, these circuits aren’t going to be powering the next generation of cellphones or replace silicon photovoltaic cells anytime in the immediate future. Right now researchers can only get a tiny amount of power from the circuits. But as the technology scales and becomes more efficient, it should open up some exciting possibilities for the future.
But in the nearer term, the circuits could lead to devices that function sans power source and electrical transmission pathways. Devices that don’t need to carry power with them in a battery could obviously be pared way down in size, and – material hazards aside – would leave a negligible carbon footprint behind. Most practical devices would require some sort of backup power supply for the times when shade is unavoidable, but a mostly sustainable device is still a nice notion. Which makes it all the more frustrating that commercial applications of the tech are still likely years out.
Original entry at PopSci