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Wireless charging has been around for more than a decade. It is more impressive today than it was a decade ago, and it promises to revolutionize how we charge everything, ranging from smartphones to electric cars.

Here is a brief overview of the wireless charging concept, how it works, and what we can expect in the future.

How Does Wireless Charging Work?

Wireless charging is based on the concepts of inductive charging and electromagnetism. It only requires a wireless charging pad and a Qi-enabled device.

The wireless charging pad functions like a transmitter while your Qi-enabled phone functions as a receiver. The charging pad has to be connected to a power outlet, and your device has to be at least 1.6 inches within the pad’s range. An electromagnetic field is created when the pad and device are within the specified range, and the magnetic coil in your smartphone captures and stores the power.  

Both the charging pad and Qi-enabled phone feature electromagnetic coils that make it possible to transfer electric energy wirelessly. The electromagnetic coil may be built into your phone’s hardware, or it may come as a separate casing, depending on your phone’s make and model.

The Qi Standard for Wireless Charging

Several wireless charging technologies have emerged over the years. However, Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) has emerged as the standard.

Qi is popular for its speed and efficiency. To this end, it has been adopted by most of the major smartphone manufacturers, including Apply, Samsung, Huawei, HTC, LG, Sony, Blackberry, Motorola, and Nokia. Most flagship smartphones now feature Qi technology, and they include following wireless charging phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 , S7, S8, S9, S10 & S20
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • iPhone versions X, XS, and XS Max
  • iPhone versions 8, 8 Plus, 11, and 11 Pro.

The Qi wireless charging standard supports three power specifications: low, medium, and high. The low power specifications supports transmission ranging from 5 watts 30 watts at distances of 1.6 inches – the higher power specifications are designed for heavy-duty machineries, such as electric vehicles. However, smartphone manufacturers are working on developing an advanced and more powerful version of the current Qi standard.

Pros & Cons of Wireless Charging

Wireless charging technology promises to revolutionize technology in many levels. Its current benefits for the average smartphone owner include:

  • It is convenient as you can do away with wires.
  • It is a safer way to charge as it eliminate strain on your phone’s charging port.
  • It makes charging easier as there soon will be wireless charging pads in many public places.

However, this technology also has some shortcomings, including:

  • Wireless charging is slower than the conventional method.
  • The standard distance of 1.6 inches still makes it necessary to be close to a power outlet when charging.

The Future of Wireless Charging Technology

As mentioned, wireless charging technology has been around for more than a decade. It has only gained popularity because of the improvements made over the years. For example, Qi initially supported a charging speed of 5W, but it now supports up to 30W.

Wireless charging technology will continue to grow faster and more powerful over the years. As mentioned, Apple and Samsung are already exploring better versions of the Qi standard. As such, you can expect better features in the future, including faster charging speeds and longer charging distances.

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