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06. Safe fragrances
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12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
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Vol. 3, No. 03. March 31, 2008
ISSN 1932-3018

Magnetic induction
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on a new principle of operation - near field magnetic induction. It is used for transmitting signals as well as power. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the functionality of both information and energy transmission.
Short-range wireless communication technology such as Blue Tooth, using the principle of radio frequency transmission, has become a standard feature of information flow between devices. Now, a new wireless principle, near-field magnetic communication (NFMC) has been introduced into the market place. It uses as channel the magnetic field that can be created between two devices - one transmitting and one receiving.
A company called FreeLinc, markets products using this technology. Examples include cordless headsets and speaker microphones. In its catalogue, the company lists five major products, together with accessories. ( In 2007 Nokia announced the first mobile 'phone to be equipped with NFMC. Mobile phones, equipped with NFMC could increase from 2% in 2010, to 30% by 2013.
In a separate development, also in 2007, researchers at MIT announced the successful wireless transmission of electricity using a magnetic field. The technology has been named WiTricity. The team was able to power a 60 watt light bulb over a distance of 2 meters using a pair of copper coils. McCarthy, Erin, "Electricity unplugged" Popular Mechanics, October 2007, Vol. 6, No. 3.
Executives should take note of the dual application of this novel principle and should be on the alert for a possible merging of these two functionalities. A particularly fertile field would be sensors that could be powered wirelessly and transmit their information in the same manner.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.