Most of you should know by now that wireless chargers are built to meet specific criteria and that they differ from one another in terms of shape, form, installation, and general purpose. What many of you might not know is that the spectrum of wireless charging devices continues to expand on a regular basis.
Even though the first wireless chargers to hit the market all those years ago were built according to specific parameters, they appear to have diversified over time and understandably so. That said, most wireless chargers still fall into one of the three main categories – stands, pads, and multi-device chargers.
The general principle behind remote charging still applies across a variety of different chargers, obviously, but the exact extent to which they handle various devices seems to differ ever so slightly depending on certain markers. For example, your average through desk wireless charger may still be designed to accommodate smartphones and the occasional tablet, but this doesn’t mean that it’s factory-limited for such specific use.
As we are about to find out, there is a much broader application for Qi wireless charging technologies, and the introduction of new Qi-ready devices expands the spectrum even more. While it used to be that only a handful of smartphones had Qi-charging capabilities just a few years back, nowadays the technology is no longer limited to smartphones alone.
Understanding the technology
If we are to better understand wireless charging as a technology, we must first address its operating principles and the parameters it adheres to. First of all, these chargers have to be in constant communication with the device they’re charging. Thus, the communication between the unit under charge and the charger determines the speed and consistency of the process.
You may be wondering how all this translates to a more versatile charging. It is important to remember that these chargers incorporate a communication system via ASK modulation that works by determining the receiving unit and setting a charge flow toward it.
Depending on the chip and the operating parameters, a decent charger can accommodate not only your average Qi-ready smartphone but virtually any Qi-capable device you connect it to.
So whether you employ a through desk wireless charger for your charging needs, a standard wireless charging pad, a charging stand, or a multi-device charger, the operating principle is the same. All that matters is that the device being charged should respond to the inductive coupling initiated by the charger.
In this respect, the coupling between modern wireless chargers and Qi-ready devices has become a very precise process. To put it bluntly, the <5 Wh that original wireless chargers delivered has since exceeded 13 Wh in newer chargers. Overall, the technology seems to be progressing at a truly incredible pace.
This means that in just a couple of years or so, wireless chargers won’t just reach the same standards that wired chargers adhere to, but even exceed them. We’re already seeing that with a few proprietary wireless chargers and even a few third-party devices as well.
By employing a high-precision power meter, we can determine that the industry average stands at about 9-10 Wh for some of the more popular wireless chargers out there.
The future looks bright
Not many people seem to understand this but the wireless charging industry is being driven not only by electronics industries and smartphone manufacturers but by the automotive industry as well. For instance, Tesla has been commercializing its own proprietary wireless charging kit for quite a few years now.
We can expect other car manufacturers to release stand-alone wireless chargers over the next few years, or even have them built into their cars’ dashboards. Although we probably couldn’t do away with power cords just yet, we see enough of a change in people’s attitudes toward wireless charging to be quietly optimistic about what the future holds.
A quick glance at shopping trends tells us that wireless chargers are quickly being built into a variety of surprising devices and appliances. We nowadays have wireless charging LED lamps, gaming headsets, electric toothbrushes, smartwatches, electric shavers, household appliances, and a few more. In a few years, your average through desk wireless charger will be able to accommodate a surprising amount of Qi-ready devices.
Going forward, we can expect an ample number of Qi-ready devices to hit the market in the near future, honing in from all corners of the market. Ironically, it does seem that well-renowned manufacturers like Apple and Samsung are still lagging a bit behind independent manufacturers when it comes to wireless charging kits.
All things considered
Although wireless charging is nowadays fairly standard among flagship phones, some manufacturers still prefer to leave it out on account of the slightly increased price of production. Nonetheless, we can expect the majority of all smart devices produced over the next few years to be Qi-compatible and to charge up at a considerable speed via any wireless charging kit/station.
The variety of wireless chargers is guaranteed to increase as well, be they stands, pads, stations, kits, or multi-device chargers. Some external batteries and power banks have already started capitalizing on the emergence of wireless charging options. Although limited, some of these power banks can fully recharge your average smartphone in as little as 30 minutes or so.
It should also be said that decent wireless chargers are designed for commercial use and can be expected to possess commercial-grade durability. Along with their versatility, the multifunctional, multi-purpose wireless chargers of the future will also provide liquid and dust resistance to preserve functionality and appearance.
For the time being, however, you should realistically expect even a decent wireless charger to handle a few of the more popular smartphones out there along with every Qi-ready device that’s built well enough to sustain constant communication with the charger.
Not just that but it wouldn’t be too much of an ask for a good wireless charger to also pack an installer app and monitor, possibly even a cloud managing system.
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