Wireless charging is one of those things: Nobody seems to know how it works, we only know it does, and that, I suppose, is all it takes. Have faith and your phone will work! We’re so used to plugging in in order to charge our devices that it seems like magic when you can just put something down, and after 30 minutes, it’s almost fully charged again.
The technology has been around for a couple of years now. It crops up in adverts, it looks cool, but nobody seems to be overwhelmingly enthused by it, even though it allows for fast charging, (Huawei, the current leaders in wireless charging, claim 70% in 30 minutes, which will naturally improve over time) charging between devices on the go and one plugged in phone being able to charge several other devices at the same time if you’re not near a charging pad.
Devices can be adapted to charge wirelessly with the addition of a cable-free power pack which is attached in the form of a case where the item in question isn’t already wireless charging enabled.
While electricity is generated by moving coiled wire past magnets, wireless chargers work rather differently: The charging pad is live and when the phone, tablet, or other cable free device is placed against it the electromagnetic field produces a charge in the built in coil which generates electrical energy which is stored in the battery. And while the charging process does produce a little heat, it’s not so much that using the phone or computer immediately is uncomfortable and too much heat will cause the circuit to break, therefore preventing the risk of fire.
What Is The Problem Wireless Charging Seeks To Solve?
If you’re old enough to remember Nokia you’re old enough to remember when there was no standard for chargers, and that wasn’t just across brands, there were almost as many chargers as there were makes and models. But then someone introduced the micro-USB and the problem was solved. Apple overcame the second most common problem with wired chargers when they invented the magnetic coupling between cable and port known as Magsafe. Instead of breaking the plug, tearing the terminal from its anchor or sending your Mac crashing to the floor, it simply popped off when you got the cable caught under foot.
While saving you from damaging plugs, a design flaw highlighted another problem that people have with cable: wear. An old cable can become brittle and fray, exposing live metal which poses all sorts of hazards, from shock through to fire.
Unfortunately, since we’ve become so dependent on our phones and computers we demand light weight construction, a plethora of apps, a camera, video and music playback, and because of this, battery life comes nowhere close to competing with the time a full charge would last in an older, chunkier phone. So what do you do if you’re out and about when your phone runs out of juice and there’s nowhere to charge it? With wireless charging you can simply hold it close to a friend’s and in an instant receive enough power to make a call.
Built In Wireless Charging, Put It Down, Pick It Up And You’re Done!
Wireless charging can be built into desks, work surfaces, as well as dedicated charging stations so you can simply put your tech down and forget about it while it charges without having to scrabble about trying to find cables. Cables which have gone astray because the kids wanted to charge something in their room or sync a phone to a computer to transfer photos. You don’t need to worry about cables at all. You won’t trip on them, you won’t lose them, or find that they get worn or perish, and, depending on the brand you choose, you can charge more than one device at the same time. You can even find cars with wireless charging built into the dash.
While the main focus of this blog has been how wireless charging is making charging phones and tablets easier and more convenient, there are a plethora of other devices which benefit from being powered wirelessly. Smart Home wireless devices, medial equipment, powertools can all be found which can be charged from a wireless transmitter. Bearing this in mind, as more and more products operate wirelessly, eliminating the power cable too frees up and makes many utilities safer. For example, trailing power leads in the kitchen or workshop can pose a hazard if you have small children, or you find it hard to see. Eliminating the potential risk of pulling boiling kettles off the worktop or getting tangled up in cables when you’re attempting to use tools simply makes everyday life a little more risk free.