Wireless Charging Still Matters

Editorial / Tech

With the rise in popularity of fast charging over the past few months there has been a lot of talk on the Internet about wireless charging and how it is unnecessary. While it’s an understandable sentiment in the face of these new faster charging times, dismissing the technology outright is the wrong way to go. Let me explain why.

Situational Use

Wireless charging is not for everyone. I will admit this right off the bat. It is also not the most efficient form of transfer of power from one place to another. However, there are situations where it comes in handy. First, bedside. If there is one time when speed of charge does not matter, it is when you are laying down to go to sleep. Most of us are going to be asleep well long enough to get a full charge in the time that we are asleep. Add to that the potential for states of grogginess before and after sleep and you have situations where fumbling around with a wire and getting it in or out of the charging port is an unneeded hassle. I know, first world problems right? Sure but if the technology exists to get rid of this problem why not utilize it? Even if you spend the money on a high dollar charger (like say a Tilt Vu for $60), spreading that cost out over the life of a phone you will have for 2 years the cost is minimal ($2.50 a month for the aforementioned.) There are cases that you will spend that much on and this can continue on with new phones if you stay with the same standard.

Bedside Wireless Charging

Bedside charging for me, my wife, and my Moto 360

Bedside is not the only use where wireless charging comes in handy. As a guy who spends a lot of time at his desk while working, wireless charging really comes in handy. I am not at my desk for an entire shift. I work in IT and I am getting up and leaving my desk multiple times a day. I also use my phone a good bit. Having a wireless charger on my desk allows me to throw my phone down and get incremental charges throughout the day to ensure that my phone is relatively topped off if not fully charged. Yes, I can do this with cables and yes those cables can charge faster but wireless charging is more convenient. I can save seconds everyday. LITERALLY SECONDS.

Okay, maybe that tongue in cheek point at the end there speaks against my point but it really is convenient. There are other arguments that people might make but with the advancements in battery technology and the increase of devices including port covers for water and dust proof ratings, some of these arguments start to fall down.

More Than Charging

I’ve gone on a bit about situational use. These situations are not the same for everyone and there may be some who would say that my arguments are invalid for them. However, let’s not assume that wireless charging stops with charging. Microsoft has released the Nokia DT-903  a wireless charger for Lumia devices that also has a built in LED that can communicate to you notifications from your device. While you are taking the time to drop your device on your charger you can also get this nice visual cue to give you alerts. This is a very basic functionality and may not be necessary when considering other options like wearable devices or mirrored notifications across to a computer via Continuity (iOS) or Pushbullet (3rd party app.) However, it is more than charging and a sign that companies are looking for more functionality.

Nokia DT-903

The DT-903 has LED notifications for Lumia devices

The Future

Notifications from your charger? That’s cool right? Yeah not that great but like I said above, it’s a step and the steps are going to keep coming for wireless charging. Do you like fast charging? Well guess what, there are already companies working on bringing it to wireless. It may not be backwards compatible with current standards, but it is still a step into the future for the niche feature. Now imagine what could happen if everyone embraced wireless charging and we got a standard as ubiquitous as USB. Qi, Powermat, who cares? If every phone had the same technology we would see a burst in wireless charging that we have only begun to sniff at. Imagine your desk, coffee table, bedside table, console of your car, tables at restaurants, arms of chairs in airports, any surface you can place your phone (or tablet or laptop, why stop with phones?) on with 1 or multiple points of wireless charging already built in. This is a reality I think is not far away. We just need some market stabilization to encourage the investment from other entities. We have seen battery charging needs get accommodations in all kinds of different places be it extra plugs in airports or on lamps in hotels. Everyone has a device (and many times more than one) with them at all times and battery life is not getting substantially better. The future of wireless charging exists because it’s simple and convenient.

Freescale Fast Wireless Charging

Some dorky technical information from Freescale on faster wireless charging


I’ve rambled for too long already so let me just reiterate my point. Wireless charging is far from dead. NFC has been in phones for quite some time and is just now starting to get mainstream adoption thanks to it’s proliferation in this generation of iPhones. Wireless charging is in the same situation. Give it a little more time to mature and you’ll be eating your words if you have been one of the many that say wireless charging doesn’t matter.

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