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One of the most important aspects of a smartphone is battery life. While our phones are charged and working, we are more connected and capable than ever before, especially while on the go. However, if your phone cannot last from morning until dinner time, it's no more useful to you than a paperweight by 6 PM. Phones are our lifelines and a dead phone could make you miss the most important business call of your life ... or worse.

I have been using the Amaze 4G for several days now alongside my iPhone 4S. Although the 4S has a little more stamina than the Amaze, neither are particularly great when it comes to battery life. No current smartphone is. Most are lucky to make it through the day on light to moderate use. And these two particular phones are making me revisit just how much I hate proprietary chargers and poor battery life.

There are several ways you can prolong your battery life, either by tweaking software, giving the battery a nice conditioning and calibration a couple times per month or by carrying spare batteries or extended – if you don't have an iPhone, that is. Additionally, there are cases such as the mophie juice pack plus that will give your phone an extra boost. But nothing outdoes plugging your phone in and giving it a nice, long charge.

The problem is, there are not always openly available wall outlets or USB ports for me to tap in to. On top of that, I do not – nor do I want to – carry cables and USB adapters everywhere I go. And carrying around a three-pound mobile juice pack everywhere I go is not an option either.

Simply put, phones should be able to last longer than eight hours on a charge, even with nonstop, heavy usage. But manufacturers have managed to cram more power into our pocket-sized computers than we ever could have imagined just a few years ago, and battery life has been placed on the back burner. Newer, more efficient and safe technologies are being developed, but manufacturing procedures and costs of such products nor performance are effective or cheap enough to use in cell phones just yet.

So what's the solution? Wireless charging.

You may recall the company Powermat. Just two years ago, they introduced a new wireless charging solution for mobile phones. You had to buy the wireless charging mat, which now comes in several different forms, and cases for all of the devices you wanted to charge. The first problem with Powermat's solution is price. By the time you purchase one case and one mat, you are nearing $100. And the usefulness of said "solution" was limited. You could only wirelessly charge wherever a Powermat was available. Otherwise, you would have to take the proprietary case off of the phone to charge via standard cables.

On top of all of this, the officially supported phones were extremely limited. A few BlackBerry models and the iPhone 3G/3GS/4 were supported. For other phones, you had to purchase a microUSB adapter, which clearly defeated the purpose of "wireless charging." Since it would be almost impossible to produce cases for every Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone device out there, they regrouped and had planned on launching aftermarket inductive batteries instead of cases.

In short, Powermat had a fantastic idea. But it was poorly executed and it wasn't entirely their fault – cell phone manufacturers all have a different way of doing things and are not "standardized" nearly enough. Nearly every phone out there uses a different capacity and shaped battery, microUSB ports are almost always in a different location per device and so on and so forth.

That said, there is a fix to this that would give companies like Powermat (they're not the only ones who have tried and failed at wireless charging) a breath of fresh air. It all starts with the cell phone manufacturers, and it would require very minimal work. All they would have to do is produce batteries capable of inductive charging or create battery doors with inductive receivers. It's that simple. Companies like Powermat and Energizer could partner with said OEMs and begin to produce phones that are capable of wirelessly charging out-of-box. All the customer would have to do is provide the wireless charging mat.

With wide support for something like this, it is possible that "refueling mats" would begin to pop up around cities, inside cars trains and buses ... everywhere. It could make battery life issues a thing of the past without ever having to actually improve battery life.

It's is a rather far-fetched idea of mine that will likely never come to fruition, but it is totally doable and something I seriously wish OEMs would take into consideration. Plugging your phone in several thousand times through its life only wears the ports and chargers out. Wireless charging would only wear the battery out, which will happen anyway. Wireless charging is where I believe things are headed, and OEMs are the reason it never succeeded the first few times it was attempted.

What say you, readers? Do you like the idea of wireless charging? Have you been wondering where all that initial promise went? Do you wish OEMs would standardize things a little more and open up to things such as inductive charging as the standard means of charging?

Image via The Washington Post


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45 Reactions to this post

"Why has wireless charging not been widely adopted?"


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Norharishan Nordin is it really free? actually u hv paid it in its total price
Krystal Brent $100 for the mat & $70 for the charger case vs. free plug in cable that came with my phone.....free cable wins.
Chris Cobeen Price is a lil bit of a reason I'm sure. The price might not be as bad as it used to be, but I'm sure its still more expensive then a wall charger :P
Enrico Hobbs Crap to waste money on for rich people
Trever Pitts Why can't phones come with like 3500 milli amp battery I mean some phones die fast I had n htc phone I shot a video in 720p check email do a lil twitter n the phone would be in 4 hours almost dead but the bberry I have now I have pretty good battery life
Vincent Hung Because it's one of those unpopular useless accessories.
Jamil Cooper Upfront cost. To much people say
Cristian Henriquez Cause technically its not wireless lol
Maritza Dieppa Yeaahhhh Franck charge over wifi ..count me in
Neftali Hernandez Escareño People don't understand how it works, and having to use adapters just confuses /makes it not worth while for them
Alex Lopez Cuz it doesn't work !!
Mehul Bhavsar You can charge and run decided like a tv over wireless electricity. I've also seen wireless Christmas tree lights. The tech is being made and tested in other ways just nothing in phones yet. Also as its been said already pick one way and get manufactures to install it in device as standard.
Brian Blaauwbroek I think it would only make too much sense. Sound so must limit the potential revenue flow for the OEM's otherwise it would have been done by now.
Josh Slocum This isn't particularly a solution, but invest in an Atrix from AT&T. My 1930 milliamp battery carries me through most days with moderate to heavy use. I've never had it get low in less than 8 hours. 12 to 14 is the norm. Great phone, amazing battery. Definitely worth a look, especially as the release of the atrix 2 looms nearer.
Philip Raghunath it's relatively new tech, and new tech cost a lot more in their first years
Lx the reason why we can't charge over wifi's is for one, those signals contain information that when used for any other purposes would ruin data integrity. i think wifi's have to increase the radio signals for it to serve other purposes like wireless charging and stuff... but health implications would be a matter on this case... i don't know.
Franck Junior Colas You know what's a better question? Why can't we charge over WiFi o.O
Collin Hoylman Because its not a big deal to just plug a damn phone in...
Antonio Horn Because there is too much money selling chargers.
Marrion Bell who's gonna pay 30 or 40 dollars so can sit there phone on wack as pad
Maritza Dieppa Maybe the day when phones have the tech inside like the deceased hp pre 3 via touchstone,people will start using them but for now Im not in...
Sidewalk GhettoGraduates Spc @Bill thats a REALLY good point. I was gonna say cuz those mats are too pricey. But what you said makes perfect since. Thats just one more reason to stay away.
Bill Gillespie Its dumb you can't use your device if its sitting flat on a charger,nothing wrong with bring tethered
Lx same thoughts actually..
Jermonn J-Trillion Richardson I like to use my phone while even while its charging....can't do that with the mat
Benjamin Sorensen You also can't USE your phone while its charging when it is on a dock... I pick mine up while its charging all the time.
Aron Thiehoff Make it charge by feeding off of the heat energy in your hand..... hold the phone it gets charged.
Andrew Midkiff Because it's too expensive and not a whole lot more convenient than any other solution, you have to have a bulky case and multiple charging bases to make any difference.
Andrew Hoffman Because wireless power loses too much energy during transmission...
Lewis Hachmeister Why has solar power not been widely adopted?
Brantt Holland Because its adds a clunky case to everything. If they could figure out a way to configure that chip into the iPhone, or android device, or whatever device they are wirelessly charging, to the point where you just drop your device or place your device onto the matt and it charges, it would make life so much easier. Instead of putting on and taking off the case making/adding scratches to your device.
Matthew Ryan Vargas Mine has the battery door replacement and makes it a fraction of an inch thicker...
Anthony Riehm nobody can agree upon just one standard. until it's universally-compatible and thus OEMs start including it in their devices, nobody's going to want to deal with extra dongles and stuff. those little powermat bricks were a joke. i have to plug my psp/nds/whatever into something and then set it on the mat? what's the point? it's not possible for a wireless charging company to make a charger/battery replacement for every device on the market, not with the rate at which new gadgets are released. it's up to OEMs to pick up the slack.
Matthew Ryan Vargas I got a powermat at walmart for my droid x2 (it said it was for the OG X(; ) for $20 and it was the greatest $20 I ever spent! It is so easy just to plop my phone on the mat and it charges while I am getting in bed:D Also Palm (sigh) already has/had this technology on the Pre series, if only they sold more phones:/.
Imran Haque Because it costs $100 for a charging "dock" then anotoher $40 for every device you want to use it with.
Jamil Oquendo Because how else would we trip on the charger's chord and break the phone attached to it? then having to buy a new phone. Wireless charging is not good for business.
Mark Schroeder no universal standard. When you have to put on a special case to charge what advantage does wireless have over plugged. Also it will make phones thicker, add tons of cost. Also with nfc it might be more of a challenge to implement both chips
Ashley Martinez It's way too expensive and not simple enough we had those powermats where I work and people never bought them! And the receiver and mat thing is b.s. make it so the phones have the technology built inside to just lay it on a mat and let it charge
Alex Robertson for laptops too..
Bryce McSherry Cost of the addons. Ill probably only use it if it were integrated into new phones
Carlos Nava Its causes cancer !!
AJ Goren Good question




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