When it comes to technology, people want everything and anything packed into their smartphone. Lately, a new trend is gaining some sort of momentum, and I still can’t decide what to think of it. I’m talking about the wireless charging function in mobile phones. In theory, it’s great that you can charge your phone without having to insert a single wire in it but, in practice, the technology is not yet there. Let’s see how it works and how real is it.
How it works
The wireless charging used in today’s smartphones is in fact called inductive charging, because it uses inductive coil to create an electromagnetic field in order to transfer the energy through an inductive coupling from the charging station to the phone. The technology has its advantages, because it’s more easy to use, it’s safer and it is protecting the connections. In the same time, it has its disadvantages: it has a lower efficiency, it’s slower, it’s not cheap and it’s far from “portable”. The device that gets charged must always be placed on a pad (charging station) in order to charge.
Is it real?
Let’s face it, when someone says “wireless charging” you expect the device to charge when you move around the room or when you are in your car, at least 1 meter from the charging station. But, today’s smartphones with wireless charging function need to be placed directly on the charging pad. Although there is no direct wire between the charging station and the smartphone, if you take the smartphone in your hand and use it to send a message, it will not charge. So, it’s far from wireless. Another big problem is that the charging pad (station) must be plugged in the electric socket (or USB slot) just like a normal charger, so you still have those wires around.
Is it fad?
Sure, it’s fad, because advertising a smartphone feature that’s not really what people expect will ultimately conduct to negative publicity. So, the manufacturers have two options: to perfect the technology, to make it what people expect of it or to forget about it and focus on other interesting features (like flexible displays, better camera, better resolution). In my opinion, wireless charging offered in this raw and undesirable form is a trend that will soon be forgotten… unless something changes about it.
Examining the facts, I think that most of you will agree that using the term “wireless charging” to promote a product is misleading, unfair and unreal. I would gladly use my current classic wire charger and be able to play some games or chat with a friend while charging the phone instead of having no wire between the charger and the phone, but in the same time having no possibility to use it while it charges. What’s your take on this one?