It’s more a cool techy thing people say or hear about than something most people really understand.
For example, would you be surprised to find out there’s more than one type of wireless charging standard used to get the juice from a table top into your phone, watch, video game controller or tablet?
Although it’s a massively technical area to get into, there are two or three major ways to wirelessly get electricity out of an outlet and into your almost dead device.
In The Beginning
Early in the wireless charging tech category, Power Matters Alliance (PMA) was the big player, building their chargers into places like Starbucks and IKEA furniture and partnering with a hardware called PowerMat. But PMA recently folded into AirFuel, a technology standards organization working towards more commercial solutions and creating resonant (air charging) solutions for charging.
The future looks like it will include a push towards resonant charging, or in simple terms, charging that happens over the air without direct contact to a charging station. This will be great for the malls and airports where it’s not always convenient or there aren’t readily available wall plugs.
So, to recap, we have Powermat charging in coffee shops that provide the ability to track usage and customer response and a future potential for resonant charging, but like all great ideas, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
What Is Wireless Charging?
This is where Qi Charging (Pronounced Ch-ee) comes into play with the Wireless Power Consortium. Qi, named after the Chi energy flow, has become a standard form of wireless charging used in all wireless charging phones today.
But what is wireless charging really? How does it work you might ask?
Sorry to tell you but no, it’s not magic. Qi Wireless Charging happens through electromagnetic induction between two sets of coils, one inside your phone or smart watch (Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Asus, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, etc.) and the other inside the charging stations Hitfar carries. It’s important to note that most cellphone manufacturers also have Powermat technology compatibility, even the iPhone.
Are you bored yet? Maybe a little?
Well good, because the science behind wireless charging isn’t supposed to be flashy, it’s supposed to be simple. That’s why we are seeing so many cellphones today with wireless Qi charging built in. But it gets more exciting, we promise.
The thin sliver of magnetically induced charging coils doesn’t force your iPhone X to be any thicker or your sweet new Samsung Note 8 to lose its seamless back. It just allows you to place your phone on a table top charger, allows you to not fumble with cords and finding your charging adapter.
Back To The Future
Ok, so we know how, we know a little about the history, and we now have the question:
“What is the future of wireless charging?”
With the addition of Apple iPhone to the list of wireless Qi charging enabled devices on the markets, look for a major push towards newer, faster and better options for not having your phone tethered to your wall.
“Well Android users have had wireless charging for a long time, so what’s different now?”
The fact that Apple carries with it a large number of brand loyal consumers and a passion for innovation, the fact that they are finally on-board with Qi charging, should be an exciting moment for tech savvy Android and Apple users. Due to Apple adding wireless charging, now even Starbucks and PowerMat are updating it’s PowerMat firmware to work with Qi Charging, so thanks Apple!
Right now, wireless charging is seen as “that novelty item” you try out and keep on your bed table. But from experience, that soon spreads to a second charger in your living room and maybe even an upright wireless charging dock in the kitchen when you’re making dinner from an online recipe.
Before you know it and all-of-a-sudden, you’ve stopped searching for micro USB cables and Lightning connectors and instead resorted to putting your phone down on one of many cool looking little charge pads available.
No More Plugs?
The best part is that it isn’t a super expensive bit of technology so the investment isn’t one you need to stress over.
Apple users everywhere moaned when they lost their headphone jack, but Apple bringing wireless Qi charging to their users is a bold answer to the question of “how will I charge my phone and listen to music at the same time?”
In the not-so-distant future will we possibly see a phone manufacturer completely remove a charging port AND the headphone jack from their smart phone?
Maybe we will. But maybe we won’t, that’s the beauty of this conversation. Speculation.
With the advancements in how we listen, power, connect and play, there’s a very real chance we won’t just be driving electric cars and charging our phones on wireless pads. Maybe our smart homes will charge everything for us without even lifting a finger.
With Bluetooth, True Wireless and Qi Wireless Charging already here, it is a war against cables and we can all come out winners. It might start as a novelty, but give it a try and you might not turn back.
What are your thoughts on the future of technology? Let us know on social media and in the comments below.