When wireless chargers first hit the market a few years back, they were originally seen as a novelty concept with a seemingly bright future but with a limited application by most standards.
Although these standards have changed just as much as the chargers themselves have, there are still skeptics out there who maintain a less than optimistic view regarding their general purpose.
For instance, while some might see the addition of a desk wireless charger to their working environment as a practical way to reduce clutter and free up the inherently limited real estate on or around your desk, others are quietly suspicious of their overall efficiency.
To put it bluntly, people are still divided on whether wireless chargers have yet reached the technical level to justify their increased popularity.
Although wireless chargers have yet to reach their full technological potential, the benefits they provide greatly outweigh their flaws. And besides, a charger that’s built into your desktop is a lot more convenient to use than a charger that you have to reach for in the dark to then plug into your device.
Free from the constraints of plugging and unplugging, wireless chargers offer a much greater versatility when it comes to charging a wide range of modern devices. This, however, wasn’t always the case as we are about to find out. If anything, earlier wireless chargers were just as rigid and inconvenient as traditional chargers.
A long way coming but still a long way to go
Even though wireless charging technologies were first developed in the late 1970s, it wasn’t until 2009 that the technology first became available for public use. Since then, a great number of devices have come to incorporate Qi-charging capabilities, and it seems that their number grows larger still.
Among the earliest companies to adopt Qi-charging technologies were companies like Nokia and Palm Pre, the latter benefiting greatly from a Touchstone charging stand. Just a couple of years later, companies like Samsung adapted to the rising trend with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the subsequent S4.
Apple was a little late to the party with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X devices, which they introduced after 2017. Today, both Apple and Samsung manufacture Qi-ready devices and they even have their own proprietary wireless chargers that they commonly sell along with their Qi-ready smartphones and tablets.
Having said that, the best wireless chargers aren’t the ones made by well-established phone manufacturers but third-party chargers that can handle a quite diverse range of devices to boot. More to the point, some of these desk wireless chargers can even handle Qi-ready smartwatches and headsets to some extent.
Although the range and versatility of these wireless chargers improve with every iteration, there is still a long way for the technology to go until it can fully replace wired chargers.
For instance, the actual charge they deliver can range between 7.5 watts to around 10 watts or more depending on the device. Needless to say, this is still a bit slower than what traditional chargers are capable of.
So what does the future hold in store?
With power cords becoming a thing of the past across a large segment of the market,we can expect wireless chargers to dominate the landscape going forward. Given the fact that wireless chargers are constantly shrinking in size while increasing potency, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that most smart devices will incorporate wireless charging capabilities in the long run.
It seems that at the present time most wireless chargers deliver a steady and substantial charge for a few well-engineered Qi-ready smart devices.
While this isn’t the norm for most smartphones and tablets at this point in time, the ones that do incorporate wireless charging capabilities seem can be expected to charge fully in as little as 60 minutes or less.
As for the form factor, know that your average desk wireless charger can fit into almost any type of furniture provided that you have the craftiness to set it up properly. Depending on their aesthetic configuration, some of these chargers can even blend into traditional furniture, although not as well as they would for specially crafted pieces.
It also appears that not all wireless chargers can handle thick surfaces and/or furniture that incorporates multiple metal pieces. This can cause quite a bit of interference and an overall reduced charge for some smartphones or it can even prevent them from recharging altogether. This is sure to change going forward, but it’s certainly something one needs to consider when buying a wireless charger.
A matter of increased mobility
One can also expect wireless chargers to find their way into most vehicles over the next few years, with more experimental wireless car chargers being released every month. We’ve had car chargers for years now and it seems only fitting that wireless versions will eventually find their way into our vehicles at some point.
It should be said, however, that most wireless car chargers you find on the market today are still a bit behind their in-desk or under-desk counterparts, at least from a technological standpoint. Aesthetically speaking, on the other hand, these kinds of chargers showcase quite a futuristic and sleek-looking design.
Visuals aside, you should probably invest in a decent desk wireless charger if you have the budget for it, and work your way up to mobile and/or car chargers once the technology catches up to the stationary models. With wireless charging technologies improving on a monthly basis, it’s only a matter of time until that eventually happens.
All things considered, there may be a few nooks and crannies that manufacturers still have to address with next-generation wireless chargers, especially in regards to their compatibility across different devices.
That aside, the technology is far from novel at this point, and you should probably consider investing in a wireless charger yourself if you haven’t already.