A few years ago MIT Professor Marin Soljačić (pronounced Soul-ya-cheech) was standing in his pajamas, staring at his cell phone on the kitchen counter. It was probably the sixth time that month that he was awakened by his mobile phone beeping to let him know that he had forgotten to charge it. At that moment, it occurred to him: "There is electricity wired all through this house, all through my office - everywhere. This phone should take care of its own charging!"
Working in the lab Soljačić was able to build an experimental design consisting of two copper coils, each a self-resonant system. One of the coils, connected to an AC power supply, was the resonant source. The other coil, the resonant capture device, was connected to a 60 watt light bulb. The power source and capture device were suspended in mid-air with nylon thread, at distances that ranged from a few centimeters to over 2.5 meters (8.2 ft). Not only was the light bulb illuminated, but the theoretical predictions of high efficiency over distance were proven experimentally. By placing various objects between the source and capture device, the team demonstrated how the magnetic near field can transfer power through certain materials and around metallic obstacles.
WiTricity was born to commercialize Soljačić's discovery. They have successfully demonstrated wireless power with such devices as the iPhone, an Android handset, and even a TV.
The technology is still under development but should be market ready in about 18 months.