The future is here, it is upon us! For a while, we would have replaceable batteries that we were constantly buying and throwing away, now we get to charge all of our portable devices, and more recently you don’t even have to plug it in anymore. That’s the future! Set your phone down on a little surface and your phone begins to charge, like magic.
But how does it work? Do you need it? Let’s dive in.
HOW DOES WIRELESS CHARGING WORK?
There is probably an entire 100+ page research paper out there about how this works exactly, but because you don’t need to know all of that, the short answer is electromagnetic induction. The charger base uses what is called an “induction coil” that essentially creates what is known as an “alternating magnetic field”. This field generates energy that the receiver coil in the phone can convert into electricity to fill the battery. This type of energy exchange has been available for a long time in other variations, but recently scientists and electrical engineers have been able to harness this process to an easy to produce and safe to use way of charging cell phones.
Of course, this is an oversimplification of everything. There is actually a lot of mathematics and standards that go into wireless charging. There are two primary competing standards in wireless charging that most modern devices will accept. These standards are the Qi and the PMA or the AirFuel Alliance standards. Like VHS over Betamax and DVD over Laserdisk, Qi is quickly becoming the standard, and the one Apple has adopted.
DO I NEED WIRELESS CHARGING?
This is a difficult question to answer mainly because it is so reliant on how you use your phone. Do you need wireless charging? No. In fact wireless charging is actually slower than normal charging and can even make your phone a little warm, since the energy transfer can release heat. This seems like a pretty severe downside, but if you are a person that primarily works at a desk and you can just set your phone down on the charging pad and pick it up only when you need it, then a constant slow stream of energy to your phone when you are at your desk might be exactly what you need.
Wireless charging seems like the perfect solution for a desk companion or a nightstand mate so that you can place your phone on this charger while you sleep and while you work. When it comes to getting that quick charge between work and going out for the evening, you are certainly going to want to go for the wired option.
Wireless charging is an exciting new realm that technology is exploring, and these charges are only getting better and better. Not only are they getting faster and more convenient but some companies are making these charges look like beautiful decorative pieces of desk decor like this brand for examples that makes them out of wood and colored resin.
Whether you decide to jump on the wireless charging bandwagon now or later is up to you, but at this point, wireless charging isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well stay aware!