The dream of wireless electricity is as old as Nikola Tesla, yet it’s only just now becoming a reality. Wireless charging of mobile devices has taken off in a big way in recent years. It’s now estimated that 160 million wireless receivers will ship this year, which is up from 12 million in 2012. The quality of the product, the demand for the technology, and the price point are all finally aligning. But is wireless charging the way of the future or simply a novelty?
It took a long time for wireless charging to become a viable consumer product. Initial technology was inefficient and expensive. Originally, the Qi type wireless charging stations were only 60 percent efficient and would drop off significantly if a device wasn’t perfectly within the sweet spot on the surface. New models are up to 75 percent efficient, which is still 10 percent lower than wired charging. This boost in efficiency and affordability means that wireless charging is showing up in more places than ever. Many Starbucks locations now have wireless charging for customers, some newer Samsung phones have the tech built in, and IKEA has even introduced a line of furniture with built in wireless charging pads. There is a real demand for this technology.
The biggest problem for wireless charging is that there are new wired charging advancements on the horizon that promise much faster and more efficient charging. New USB Type-C ports on phones allow a battery to be charged from 0 to 100 in only 97 minutes, with the first 45 minutes of charging filling a majority of the battery. Relying on this wired tech means that phones can also be thinner, which is always a constant push in the smartphone market. It’s possible that these sorts of advancements will render wireless charging completely obsolete unless there are big advances to the technology. The most likely scenario is that there will be a mix of technologies that dominate the charging world for consumers, with wireless charging being a convenient option, but a wired approach being mixed in, as well.
Wireless charging is an exciting technology to keep an eye on. However, it’s still unclear whether it will be a lasting technology, or a novelty.
Read the full article here: Why Is Wireless Charging Taking So Long To Arrive? We Ask An Expert