The Wireless charging is beginning to shape the next generation of modern devices: What is it and how does this fascinating technology work?

Technologies keep evolving every day and the way our society and the world at large are transformed through them is quite breathtaking. In the ever-evolving field of communication, more and more innovations come up every day and a similar marvel is the technology of wireless charging.

As the name suggests, wireless charging means that you are able to charge your device without plugging cables directly into it. So, you don’t have to worry about untangling wires anymore. All you need to do is place your device facing up on a specially designed platform which may look as simple as a round disk and start charging its battery. Be it iPhone X, iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy S8, or any other smartphone or electronic device that supports the technology, you are good to go with wireless charging and easily juice up your device.

How does Wireless Charging Work?

Wireless chargers work on the principles of magnetic induction or magnetic resonance. They function by transferring energy from the charger to the receiver coil located in the back of the phone through electromagnetic induction. A specially designed induction coil is used by the wireless charger to create a time-varying electromagnetic field and the receiver coil in the back of the smartphone converts it back to electricity that powers up your device.

As the strength of the electromagnetic field depends on distance, it is inherently required that both the charger and the device are placed in proximity to each other and are correctly aligned over the top of each other. This distance can depend on the charging standard used by the manufacturer. Qi (the Chinese term for “energy flow”) is the universal standard that is used for the wireless charging of a majority of battery operated devices. It is widely becoming the most popular wireless charging standard and is used by major players like Apple and others. Other standards like the Powermat and Rezence are also available. They offer some additional features like charging multiple devices with the wireless charger and more flexible positioning, i.e. you can place your device even farther.

How Fast Are Wireless Chargers?

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In maximum cases, wireless charging is a little slower than the conventional cable charging for devices which nowadays include methods like fast charging technology via USB Type C cables. But there do exist wireless chargers that are faster than the others and are completely capable of charging the smartphone fully by around one to two hours. These types of chargers are typically rated by wattage or output amperage.

Devices Supporting Wireless Charging

Oral-B used the inductive wireless charging technology in the early 1990s to charge its rechargeable toothbrushes. Smartphones like the Palm Pre in 2009 and Nokia Lumia phones in 2012 brought the trend of wireless charging into the smartphone world. In today’s era, wireless charging is supported by most of the iPhones, Google Nexus devices, Samsung Galaxy S Line and a variety of smartwatches like the Apple Watch, Moto 360, and LG Watch Style. Tablets such as Nexus 7 also support wireless charging.

There are some variants of laptops also that support wireless charging but are usually less compatible as this technology is more suitable for smaller devices. Even if your device doesn’t support wireless charging technology, you can bring home a specially designed case which contains the required hardware and make wireless charging possible on your device.

Upsides And Downsides

Despite having lower charging efficiency and added costs, the wireless charging technology is slowly becoming a thing as it makes the charging process more convenient and is aesthetically appealing too. More and more tech giants are coming up with improved wireless chargers and the process is getting efficient day by day.

Is Wireless Charging the Next Big Thing?

Wireless charging is compatible and is bound to extend to several new areas and applications. For instance, furniture giant IKEA is working on developing a new line of furniture that includes lamps and tables with built-in charging platforms. Electric buses in South Korea can be charged using a wireless platform. Several hotels are also working on developing an infrastructure where wireless charging can be accessed inherently. Surely, the world is bound to witness a significant change in the field of wireless charging in the times to come.

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