The concept of wireless charging is fascinating and appealing. Partly that’s true because it bypasses the hassle of managing USB cables and chargers. It is something most consumers would love to try, including myself. It goes like you just place your device on the charger and it gets charged. Of course, for the charger to charge the device, it must be charged itself. And the wireless charger must itself be plugged in power outlet.
So finally, brace yourselves, wireless charging is already here. It is being offered in devices including Google’s Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Nokia Lumia 920. It is one of the most awaited features in the smartphones’ market. Although it’s not officially supported by the tech giant, Apple, yet, but there are special cases available that make iPhones capable to being charged wirelessly.
How to charge wirelessly?
Wireless charging is essentially magnetic induction.
Though wireless charging has arrived, not all devices support the technology. Certain hardware requirements are there for your device to support wireless charging. The way wireless charging works is that the current from wall outlet goes through a wire in the charger and creates a magnetic field. It is more accurately called ‘induction charging’, because it uses magnetic induction to make itself work. The magnetic field creates a current inside the coil of the device. Since the coil is connected to the battery, the device current charges the battery. It’s therefore necessary for a device to have an appropriate coil to support wireless technology.
Such a coil can already be within your device, but chances are slim. There are electric toothbrushes that do have coil inside them. They might be charged wirelessly, but beware the toothbrush may give you a shock if it’s wet. At this point, “don’t try this at home” would do ample.
How inductive charging works?
Inductive charging or wireless charging works by the transfer of energy by means of electromagnetism. An electric field is built by the inductive coupling of coils, which then interact to engage in the process of transfer of energy. A charger supporting inductive charging or wireless charging should have a coil called primary coil. The device to be charged, to where the energy is to be transferred, must have a coil as well. This coil is called secondary coil.
When the charger is plugged in a wall power outlet, power moves through a wire in the charger, creating a magnetic field. Magnetic field then induces a current in the secondary coil. Current from secondary coil goes to either charge the battery or run the device.
So that was how inductive charging or wireless charging works. Wireless charging is definitely worth trying. It already has millions of fans excited by the promise of never having to touch wires and USB cables. To be frank, there’s going to be huge demand and supply of wireless chargers. Just like there was for iPhones. As a last bite, Apple’s Phil Schiller believes that wireless charging “is actually, for most situations, most complicated”. That’s heartbreaking for Apple consumers, no?