2/2/16
10:25 am

It Is Time For Wireless Charging

Wireless charging is a joke, but it doesn’t have to be. Have you seen those commercials for Samsung’s wireless charger? The claim is that you don’t have to deal with a cable mess. But you still do. The cable still runs from the wall to the charging pad. And you have to stick the phone directly on the charging pad. So is the experience any better than just plugging the phone in? Slightly. Very slightly. Lots of cool 21st century tech to go from “plug” to “place.”

Some are critical of Apple for not having wireless charging for the iPhone yet. But if that is the current state of the technology, I’m glad Apple didn’t waste its time.

Apple does have one wirelessly-charged device: the Apple Watch. But I get the feeling that the idea is more about designing the watch without a port than wireless charging. After all, the Watch magnetically clicks to the charger making it the same as plugging it in. In fact, Apple’s own marketing materials don’t even refer to this as wireless charging.

My nightstand is a maze of wires. There are three white cords hopelessly entangled to charge my iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. It seems that in 2016 things ought to be better.

What I’m hoping is that Apple comes out with wireless charging with the iPhone 7 and that it has two key features. First, it should require exact placement. Devices should just need to sit on a large pad or near a small transmitter.

Second, eventually all Apple devices should charge from it: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and even MacBooks. One pad or transmitter can handle many devices.

In fact, Apple should lead an open standard for charging. So other companies can build devices that also use the same charging stations. Apple does this with other software and hardware, so why not charging. Apple’s current cables are proprietary (lightning) but the chargers themselves are standard USB that can be used with other devices. So it would make sense to continue that way.

Comments: 5 Responses to “It Is Time For Wireless Charging”

    Kendall
    2/2/16 @ 12:43 pm

    Tesla conceptualized and implemented wireless energy many decades ago but Edison had more money behind his wired system and he launched a smear & fear campaign that caused people to believe that wireless energy was unsafe and that’s why Tesla’s invention never met its full potential. I’m not sure what it would take to usher in true wireless energy, but if any company has the ingenuity to make it happen, it’s Apple.

    2/2/16 @ 12:52 pm

    Kendall: What Tesla conceptualized was high power long distance transmission of electricity. Turns out that’s not really possible. Even if it was, it is probably not desirable as it would be very dangerous.
    Today’s wireless charging is about lower power, low distance. Very low distance, like sitting on a pad or maybe a few inches from a transmitter. One of the reasons it is even possible is that our devices like our iPhones use so little power relatively speaking.

    Cameron Price
    2/4/16 @ 11:33 am

    I remember seeing a concept where a wireless charger was built right into a light socket (or maybe it was the bulb itself, I can’t remember). It would charge anything in the room, so long as the room wasn’t too big. Hope it happens. Like Gary, I’m for anything that eliminates a tangled mess at the nightstand.

    Raiford
    2/4/16 @ 1:50 pm

    It would certainly help if the bottom plate on the iMac support stand held a wireless charger for the mouse, keyboard or trackpad. Obviously such charger should also work for the iPhone and all Apple devices and anything else if possible.

    Larry
    2/5/16 @ 11:34 am

    There is one good place for today’s wireless charging. In the car. A slot like a cup holder that you just slip you phone in when you get in the car and forget it until time to get out with a charged phone. The phone could be charging and still be connected to everything else.

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