What is it, how does it work, and should I care?
With the latest iPhones receiving wireless charging capabilities, Apple has joined the pack of Android smartphones offering this feature. It’s safe to say that in the next few years you will all have a smartphone that is capable of using wireless charging.
What do you need for wireless charging?
You only need two or three items. A phone or device that is enabled for wireless charging and a wireless charging pad. Sometimes the pad can plug directly into the wall or it can attach to the end of your regular phone charger.
So what is it and how on earth does it work?
In theory, it is relatively simple. This is kinda how it goes.
Imagine someone running on a rooftop and they need to jump onto the next rooftop, in order to jump across, a trampoline is placed near the gap, the runner jumps on the trampoline, flies over the gap and lands on a soft cushion on the next rooftop. The runner keeps running and all is well.
A wireless charger works in a similar fashion,
- Electricity comes through the charging cable,
- Electricity hits a coil in the charging pad
- The coil converts the electricity into a electro-magnetic field
- Your phone also has a coil in it which is configured to receive the electro-magnetic field.
- The coil then does the reverse and converts the electro-magnetic field into electricity and charges your phone battery!
In case you were wondering, yes, this is the same way an electric toothbrush get charged!
As with any type of technology, there are different ways of doing this. Currently there are two major players in the game who offer different methods of charging (if you still going along with the trampoline analogy, they effectively offer two different trampolines with their own cushion). Their names would be Qi (most common) and Powermat. The new Apple phones use Qi whereas the Android phones (Samsung, HTC, LG etc) generally support both.
Do I have to buy the same brand charging pad as phone brand?
NO! That’s the quick short answer. You can charge any Qi enabled phone with any Qi certified charger. There are plenty out there in so many great designs all for relatively little cost.
Should I get a few wireless chargers?
YES! If you find yourself in similar places everyday like your desk and bed (hopefully) get a charging pad for these places. You will truly reap the benefits of a wireless charger if you get two or more. When you are at your desk, do you find yourself putting your phone in the same place every day? Put it on a charging pad instead. The same goes for your bedroom.
What to look forward to?
As more and more devices adopt the technology, the charging pad will become more commonplace. Already you can find wireless chargers in restaurants such as Starbucks and McDonalds. Ikea have been manufacturing wireless charging into their furniture for a few years now too.