Believe it or not, wireless charging technology has been around for more than a century. Late in the 1800s, Nikola Tesla proved the phenomenon of magnetic resonant coupling by which electricity could be transferred through the air. However, this technology stayed dormant for most of the twentieth century owing to an absence of practical applications. That’s until, of course, the idea of wireless charging came along.
That’s fairly much the easy version of how most mobile phone chargers operate. Copper coils in the wireless charger generate a fluctuating magnetic field that causes the current to flow through the device and charge the battery.
Structure of a wireless charger
Wireless power is now widespread. We use it to charge phones such as electric toothbrushes, smart-watches, and ear-buds, but most of us use it to charge our smartphones. What we ‘re talking about here is near field induction charging, and there are a few reasons it has finally taken off for phones in the last few years.
How the technology works
Wi-Charge, the leader in long-range wireless power technology, has announced the world’s first ready-to-use long-range wireless power product. Companies interested in developing products with integrated wireless power may apply for samples.
The new energy transmitter is about the size of the soda can – one third the size of the prototype last year. The transmitter blends into both residential and commercial environments and can be exposed to track lighting, placed on a shelf or plugged into a wall outlet. The Wi-Charge’s infrared (IR) lighting technology has been designed in a way that its power levels are practically constant over distance, unlike other approaches, such as radio frequency (RF), which suffer a dramatic drop in power levels as the power receiver moves further away from the energy source.
Wi-Charge’s IR technology is also significantly more efficient than other long-range wireless power approaches. Due to its light-based technology, this charger does not interfere with such long-range communication devices as cellular, WiFi, Bluetooth or other forms. The Wi-Charge device is also plug-and-play, which means that no configuration is needed.
Some of its design specifications are as follows:
Power – Suitable for IoT and smart-home devices
Distance – Up to 5 meters away
Safety – UL certified and approved by the U.S. and international regulatory bodies
IoT and smart device manufacturers are searching for an energy delivery solution that approximates wired power but allows battery-like freedom of movement and placement. Wi-Charge eliminates the need for battery changes, enables new capabilities in power-restricted devices, and will lead to the next generation of mobile and smart devices. Simply put, life’s better without wires.
Long-range wireless power is the third way of delivering power, overcoming the challenges of wired power mobility and the limitations of battery-based systems. Wi-Charge’s patented light-based wireless charging system gives end-users the freedom they want and the power they need.
Clearly, there’s lots of promising technology here, but there’s still one big question to ask of wireless technology: why should users choose it over the convenience of a bedside USB cable with fast charging support? Honestly, it’s a tough one to answer, but the ease of use and popular gadget support and charging stations will probably be required.
Although it has been around for several years, wireless charging has not yet become a critically important technology in the gadget market. For wireless charging to deliver significant amounts of power over distance, the efficiency issue needs to be addressed. Still, even in ideal conditions, if you compare wireless power over distance to wired or wireless charging, it’s very inefficient; you’re losing the vast majority of the energy you’re sending out. While wired charging is around 85 percent efficient, wireless charging started at around 60 percent, but has now reached 75 percent and up.
Safety is another major issue. The ability to direct power with beam-forming techniques potentially makes it safer because it can help the transmitter avoid firing power at people. But even if these companies can win FCC approval and certification in other countries, they still need to convince the general public that it is safe.
When we talk about this technology, one of the first questions we’re always asked about is how safe it is, and that’s because it’s not intuitively safe. Convenience is a big attraction, but it will take time to convince people that there is no risk.
We’re still excited about technology that can wirelessly charge your phone in our bag or pocket without any effort on our part.