HOW IT WORKS: WIRELESS CHARGING

- Aug 26, 2018-

    If there is one transformational technology in the mobile world today, it is wireless charging.

    Just as the world USES microUSB for everything (naturally not including apples), the next best thing comes up.

    That thing is wireless charging, and I have something to say in the next few days.

But first...

What is wireless charging?

    Frankly, I find wireless charing much better than using microUSB.

It looks like the difference between plugging a cable from your desktop into your smartphone and removing it when you leave is similar to the frustration of putting your smartphone on a charging station and picking it up when you leave.

But the difference in comfort, speed and availability is like day and night.

    Wireless charging works by electromagnetic induction.

The coil in the base station (charging pad) generates a magnetic field as the current passes.

The field can induce a current in an adjacent coil without actually touching it.

If the wire is part of a battery charging circuit, you can charge it wirelessly.

    It is not as efficient as direct cable connections between batteries - wireless cables are about 60-70% efficient, and it is still recommended to connect from cold start devices via wired connections.

But for everyday use, simply align the coils and let the electromagnetic wire do the rest of the work is the core value proposition of wireless charging.

    It's worth noting that the lithium-ion chemicals used in smartphone batteries can quickly cope with a short energy shock - which is exactly what wireless charging can offer, as you lift your smartphone from the charging pad and replace it throughout the day.

Standard wireless charging features for Nexus 6 (photo: Google.com)

    As with any technology, there are many systems that want to dominate and become "standards".

For wireless charging, that pretty much means the global Qi standard (driven by the wireless Power alliance), though American consumers may encounter the Power Matters alliance, which is behind the Power Mat technology.

Of course, standard incompatibilities (induction coils work at different frequencies to the starter).

    In the next few days, I will focus on Qi, mainly because of personal experience and the hardware I have to provide.

Qi has a larger footprint, has more than 675 official Qi enabled devices in the last count, and adds more each day.

    The wireless power alliance has taken a significant lead in the mobile market, as nokia chose to use Qi to charge its first Windows Phone line.

It counts Verizon, HTC and the MOTOROLA Nexus 6 team as partners in the alliance.

This puts Qi ahead of Power Matters (AT&T as a partner) in wireless charging of smartphones.

    From portable bluetooth speakers and smartwatches to various Android and Windows phone-powered smartphones and tablets, wireless charging is now part of my list of "" things on new devices." "

    It has yet to reach deal breaker status, but if I had two equally capable products to choose from, owning Qi charing would be a winning product.

Why is that?

Because it's just amazing.

Simply put the hardware down and remove it as needed to fully charge it.

If you want to know what the "frontier" is, look for qi.