Wires are something most of us feel outdated in the rushing development of handheld devices. We find it annoying to shove in the cables right into the phone’s charging port minutes before getting into sleep. Mid-day charging is another mess for workers who keep moving places. Presence of wireless charging might be an arguable solution but that is not all. Wireless charging has its own set of limitations and drawbacks which we will discuss in detail and all other alternates to it.
Wireless charging was the introduced in 2012 alongside Nokia 920 which was a great breakthrough but did not pick up that well or did not have as many follow up to it. The device needs to placed over a docking station to let the wireless charging happen and it was added an accessory with a not-so-cheap price tag. 6 years down the time lane brands have finally adopted wireless charging to their flagship smartphones.
Clearly, it has taken 6 years to get it mainstream. Qi charging standards is now adopted across all brands enabling to have a unified accessory market. The only big improvement in the lifecycle of wireless charging is the fast-wireless charging. When wireless charging has reached crazy fast speeds of 50% in 15 mins is when wireless charging has taken its first step towards fast charging.
Drawbacks of Wireless Charging
- The smartphone needs to be placed in the centre, right on top of the wireless charging dock to keep it charging. A slight displacement of hovering the smartphone little high would stop the charge flow.
- The charging station needs to be purchased separately.
- As of now, they can only be built on the glass back and plastic back devices not on steel backs.
- It is a premium feature available only with flagships. Mid-range smartphones or a year old smartphones don’t even have an option to use Qi charging.
- Though it is named wireless charging there is actually a wire running between the wall socket and the charging station.
- You need to compromise on the freedom of browsing your smartphone sitting relaxed while charging wirelessly. That is even worse than wired charging.
They are the newest innovations by various start-ups that haven’t gone mainstream yet. The total magic happens over the cable and you need not have any specific requirements in the smartphone. Maybe that is why brands have failed to acknowledge them.
It consists of two components, the connector that fits in the charging port of the smartphone and leaves outside a very small protrusion having a magnetic connector end with proprietary pins. the usual cable has one of its end catered to fit the magnetic connector tip thereby completing the connection.
You need not worry about putting the cable in anymore. Bring the device with the connector tip closer and it attaches by its own with the coordination of the magnets. No constraints on the device whatever old or low cost the device is, whatever port it bears magnetic charging cables can be used with ease.
On the downside, you still need to be close to the power outlet and let the wire run across your hands to keep using the smartphone while charging. Magnetic charging cables need to be purchased separately but they aren’t costly. They are as cheap as 20 or 30 USD which is slightly more than any conventional charging cable.
What is new in wireless charging?
Disney once made a working prototype from their research where they could charge any number of smartphones inside a room where magnetic waves were let to resonate through controlled parameters. But that room was surrounded by aluminium to not let the magnetic waves escape. This situation is very unlikely to implement in households any sooner.
Whattup by Energous
Energous a funded start-up was working in making true wire-free charging for hand-held devices and to an extent succeeded. The wisely used transmitter and receiver setup for radio waves to charge the device. A minuscule charger was fit into the smartphone and the radio waves transmitted was able to charge the smartphone up to a distance of 15 feet. The transmitter gains more efficiency when they are directed properly.
This is what we expect in the coming years to revolutionize smartphone charging. It recently got FCC certified too. There are a lot of other teams in research for a feasible and more efficient wireless charging solution worldwide. The recent importance is mainly due to increasing electric cars which one day will need wireless charging.