Nissan has big plans for the still-budding Leaf. The Japanese automaker lit up its impressive Leaf-powered Smart House at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, but also demoed its wireless charging solution for a much smaller crowd at the company’s Oppama factory. The device uses electromagnetic induction to transfer power between a charging pad and a receiver on the bottom of the car, with an efficiency level between 80 and 90 percent — simply park your EV directly above the system to begin charging, and monitor progress on the ground transmission unit’s control panel. The pad is expected to become available as soon as 2013, but will only be compatible with new vehicles, so you won’t be able to use it with an older Leaf, unfortunately. There’s a silent demo video waiting for you just past the break.
Microsoft Home is a sort of “world of tomorrow” for the computer nerd set where Surface takes the place of video phones and dinner pills. The only difference is that, unlike those World’s Fair staples, Redmond’s vision of the not-so-distant future isn’t open to the public. This is a private testing ground where researchers can try out concepts, like a watch that records health data and syncs it with your home network or a media center that can analyze video and identify products and locations featured on screen. You might not be able to swing by the campus and visit, but you can catch a glimpse of suburban life in 2025 — populated by touchscreen wireless charging trays and interactive walls — in the video after the break. We’ll take it all, except the wallpaper — we don’t need #winning tweets floating overhead while we try to get some shut-eye.
Back at CES we were dazzled by Fulton Innovation’s vision of the future of wireless power, which included an inductively-charged Tesla Roadster. Now, someone’s actually making it a reality. Siemens and BMW are partnering on a field trial for inductive chargers, with the device itself making its debut in May ahead of it being deployed in Berlin in June. In theory these can be installed into parking lots, taxi queues, and of course driveways, sunk right into the ground — out of sight and mind. Neither company is saying which prototype car will be given the ability to catch the waves that these inductive chargesters will be throwing out, but we’d hazard a guess it’ll be one of BMW’s new i cars, which won’t look nearly as futuristic as the invisible wheels above that look to have escaped from the Wonder Woman set.
Standardized inductive charging with the Qi standard is a beautiful thing, but previously Energizer’s only charging pad had room for not one but two devices. If your independently-minded smartphone just still isn’t ready for that kind of commitment, the pink bunny has you covered with a new single-pad Inductive charger. Like before it supports the Qi standard and offers compatibility with a variety of devices — if you don’t mind using a variety of goofy sheaths and backpacks. No word on price or availability, but really it shouldn’t take long to get this to stores.