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New wireless data and power plans in pipeline

Say goodbye to a rat's nest of cables around every device

As if we didn't already have enough wireless technologies competing for our attention (and cash), a consortium of some of the industry's biggest names is clubbing together to add a couple more to the mix.

Fifteen Japanese firms, including NEC, Toshiba and NTT DoCoMo, are working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on both a faster wireless data conduit and wireless power transmission.

High-def video

The data link is planned to be in the gigabit class, or around 50 times faster than current Wi-Fi implementations. The companies see it as necessary for getting high-definition video from receivers to screens.

More surprising, perhaps, is the group's plan to untangle the nest of power cables behind most home-entertainment systems.

Medium-range power

Instead of direct connections to AC sockets, the researchers are aiming for a wireless power module that can send and receive current across up to two metres.

Clearly, if the scheme bears fruit by the planned 2015 deadline, we could be looking at very different-looking living rooms within a few years.