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I am a woman who likes her options to be open. More options bring more solutions to potential problems, and when it comes to charging our cells phones the same statement holds true. The idea of wireless (also known as ‘inductive’) charging has been around for a long time, and as far as I know nobody has patented the idea, so why haven’t more companies taken it to the next level?

Wireless charging, for the most part, isn’t as effective at charging the battery as plugging in the device is. Not yet, anyway. It still does its job by charging the battery a considerable amount at least, but I bet if the method was in higher demand more companies would work harder on making it more efficient at charging. One of the top features of the Nokia Lumia 920 is that it featured wireless charging, so where are companies like Apple and Samsung at? Why can your phone track my eyes and head but I can’t plop my phone down on a magical charging force field? A second charging method would be ideal for features like Smart Scrolling and Smart Pause, which is presumed to suck the battery life right out of the device. In fact, it would be ideal for any device that isn’t stuck on phone life support all day long.

Aside from being beneficial to devices that have abysmal battery life to begin with, it’s also a nice option to have in terms of reliability.

When working at Sprint, I usually had at least one or two people day who would come in reporting charging problems. After opening up  the device we would often times discover that something was awry with the charging port, and unless it was a fixable problem (usually it was not) we would have to order another device for the customer – which may have been cheap, or it may not have been, depending on if the customer carried insurance or not. For the customer that carried insurance, no big deal; order the phone, receive it in a few days. For the customer without insurance, however, you might end up in a predicament where you have to pay full price for the same device – generally not something anybody wants to hear. But if wireless charging was the everyday norm for devices, the news wouldn't be as devestating as the customer would have more than one option for charging a device; a backup method. Wireless charging would solve a huge chunk of that problem, among others.

If wireless charging on phones was a standard, we could very well ditch travel chargers altogether in the near future. Imagine being able to install a wireless charging hub in your car so more than one device can easily charge at one time. Hotels, coffee shops, and restaurants could all have small areas on the table where you set your phone down and allow it to charge – it could become a standard that’s similar to free Wi-Fi. This idea would eliminate the facepalm effect people experience when they realize they’ve forgotten their charger at home. Then again, those of us with iPhones are really the only ones losing out because forgetting a 19-pin or lightning charger at home is a little more difficult to solve than if you lost a universal micro USB cable – which are available just about anywhere. Regardless, you have to admit that it would be a lot more hassle-free if you knew that “charging hubs” were the norm in just about every building.

In addition to being able to solve our cell phone charging issues, it’s also a good first step towards other hopeful technologies being able to use the same method. Yeah, at first it would start out small and probably unworkable for a lot of things, but as time goes on and technology advances bigger things like standard household appliances and even cars may be able to benefit from wireless charging technology. It may even be the solution we’ve needed to get rid of the amount of standard batteries we often see in landfills – but it has to start somewhere small first.

And what small gadgets would be better to test with than our phones?

I know we have the means to do it at this point, but we really need the conjoined efforts of all manufacturers to help make this method of charging mainstream. I would really enjoy seeing inductive charging as a standard feature of smartphones in the future soon.

Readers, what how do you feel about wireless charging? Do you think it’s the way of the future, or would you prefer to bring your own charger with you and stick with the plug-n-charge method? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Image via CNet


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34 Reactions to this post

"Do you think wireless charging should be more accessible than it is?"


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Marwan Ahmed sry to tell that but people how uses wireless charging at home they r stupid wireless charging is for using it in cars restaurants cafes airports any tables in these places with wireless charging will be fantastic but not using it at home it is an efficient way of charging ur phone in public places where where their is no need to take ur charger with u :D
Kevin Eusebio a wired pad and putting your phone on top for wireless charging is hardly wireless. it needs to charge wirelessly at least 6 feet from the source.
Bryan Miller What we need is 3000mah batteries that fit in 4 inch to 5 inch screen phones
Bryan Miller Rather use a $10 usb cord than a $40 case and a $100 charging pad, and even for the phones with it built in you still gotta use that stupid $100 pad
Bryan Miller Totallly dumb, like others had said, u still have to plug in the charging pad
Ken Rowe I just picked up a wifeless charger and man, is this a much better way to go.
Shuntae Henry One of the BEST features that I've ever had on the phone was the wireless charging of my Palm Pre. They've stolen all of the other features of the phone, someone should make use of that. There was nothing more awesome than sitting the phone on the touchstone dock to charge!
Lucas Safferson Unfortunately the problem is that we (customers) is buying car adapters and a second charging cables for example :) The smartphone makers are earning a hell of money on this and if the technology with wireless charging would come as standard (in cars, cafe´s etc) and you could charge several units on one and the same charging point, the whole idea with earning money from that kind of stuff just goes ruined? Greed is bad
Simon Yu I think it should be a standard, generally it isn't that "much" better than your normal charging in terms of heat wear to battery longevity but it lets you fill up when you're at a location where you can drop your phone down onto a table while reading, working, or anything else stationary. If you're at a coffee shop then you could put your phone down onto the arm of a chair (with an indentation so it doesn't fall), or even onto the table. If you're in your car you just drop it down, initiating a bluetooth sync to play your music and charge your device, maybe automatically launching car mode and maps too (this kinda delves into NFC..) Oh and it lowers the wear on the microUSB cable area. I haven't charged my Nexus 4 with a cable since I have had my Orb. --- Charging in a field isn't as good, sure you want to be AWAY from the area and charge it while moving it, but then other people can charge off it too stealing away from the speed at which your device charges. I don't see removing it from the pad as a big deal as once you're done texting you plop it right back on it, painless.
Kenneth Maneeley Yes. But also a larger battery. I always bought the 3500mah and the 4000mah batteries from seidio for my EVO 4g and my EVO3d phones. I don't mind the extra thickness and I love the extra run times. So yes larger batteries and wireless charging are a must-have!
Steven Basso na had it with all my palm phones but never really used it so no
Viktor B Thumperofseals Don't see the point of it, prefer wires
Odin Johnson It's not really wireless, so its just a gimmick! The standard charger is cheaper and does the job fine.
Rúben Soares Unnecessary, it's fun the first 20 min.. But then you receive an SMS, and you have to pick up you phone, and then you get a reply... And your phone takes forever to charge... Until you can move around and charge at distance it's not worth the money nor the trouble.. It'd be awesome if your phone started charging every time you get home! But even if that would happen in, let's suppose, a year or two, we would still need the wall charger at some situation..
Stan Benjamin Lewis That would eliminate the sales of cords why would they want to do that?
Eric Quach is a gimmick right now.
Michael Patrick Never used it. And from what I hear, not worth the money. Down with wires, up with buyers!
Darryl Budge Wireless charging would be most useful for in-car kits.
Kyle McCaffrey I have to agree if they need to give us battery life that lasts at least 24 solid hours PLUS on medium to heavy usage before they start rolling out wireless charging. It's just a cop out to restrain from having to develop the bigger batteries.
Marti Ruiz yes . to charge your phone in the car .
Guillermo De León I don't care for it.
Chris Kang moment i used a touchstone
Wolf Koljensic They need to improve battery`s life first!
Jeff Griffith "Wireless" chargers are the stupidest gimmick, you have to PLUG THEM INTO A POWER SOURCE! That's not wireless charging, that's a waste of money.
Curtis M. Cook Personally I find it to be more gimmicky than anything. It doesn't charge as fast as a normal connection and you can't use it while it's charging. Not to mention some of the chargers could be really expensive. *Nexus 4 user*
Eric Mitchell I really don't feel the need for wireless charging at the moment. Until you can actually go some distance, rather than sitting on some pad, I'd be more interested in it.
Jace Casiño No ... large batteries should be a standars first ..
Anthony Evans Jr I think wireless charging should be TRULY wireless not changing it from a wire to a device you drop it on false advertising!




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