Samsung may launch wireless chargers that work from a distance by mid-2014

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 15, 2013

samsung wireless charging

The development of wireless charging has been plagued so far by high-costs, immature technology, and competing standards.

Currently, industry players have grouped around two technologies, inductive magnetic charging and resonant inductive magnetic charging, but only the former has made it into actual products, in the form of the Qi wireless charging standard.

As the largest smartphone maker in the world, Samsung has a big influence over the development of wireless power transmission, and it looks that the Korean giant is betting on magnetic resonance technology.

Samsung recently acquired a stake in Power by Proxi, a supporter of the Qi standard that specializes in magnetic resonance power technologies. But Samsung is also developing magnetic resonance chargers internally, and plans to commercialize the technology by the middle of 2014.

According to a “Samsung insider” cited by the Korean IT news portal ETNews, the company actually tried to equip the Galaxy S4 with magnetic resonance charging, but cancelled the feature after it malfunctioned in tests. However, Samsung has ironed out some of the wrinkles: “the magnetic resonant reception chip performance has been improved to be suitable for system application,” said the insider.

Here’s a video demonstrating the technology developed by Power by Proxi:

Why is magnetic resonance charging important? Because it allows for charging at a distance, unlike the current Qi standard, which requires the phone and the charger to be very close and properly aligned. In other words, instead of having to place your phone on a charging mat or on a charger like in the case of the Nexus 4, with magnetic resonance chargers, you’ll be able to place your phone anywhere near the charger, without having to carefully align it. Depending on the implementation, magnetic resonance technology should enable charging at distances of several inches or more.

Check out this overview for more info on wireless charging, the difference between inductive and resonant magnetic charging, and the competing standards that support them.

  • Aniruddh

    It’ll be useful if it works throughout your house AND while the phone is moving. Wired chargers will be a thing of the past. You could have it everywhere: from restaurants to airports(can be expensive)

    • Balraj

      You dream big

      • Aniruddh

        I sure do :D
        But seriously, just imaging going into the nearest McDonald’s and connecting your phone to a network which automatically charges your phone.
        Could be a router kinda device that has WiFi and Wireless Charging inbuilt. You connect to the router and your device is now authenticated to be charged wirelessly.

        • Balraj

          What about the traffic n power consumption..
          Imaginegetting billed for it :-P

    • slick8125

      Kinda like this?

      If the 10% efficiency can be improved (and clearly size) I think it will be useful. Moving will complicate it a bit but I think he said it will be solved by the consumer version.

    • NeedName

      Sadly, Nikola Tesla was doing true wireless power way back in the mid 1800’s . . . running large light bulbs over a few miles away from the electric plant in Colorado Springs. . . . and we still can’t get more than a few feet away.

      • MadCowOnAStick

        That’s okay, it’s been 150 years. I’m sure technology has improved.

        • John

          What are you talking about Mad Cow? Tesla had technology way beyond our current scope. Our wireless technology is nowhere near what Tesla had then. The Wardenclyffe tower was supposed to give free energy to people, but greedy corporations got in the way, and likely some other 3rd parties..

      • Mike Reid

        Tesla was a VERY interesting character; the archetype of a “mad scientist”, and I very much enjoyed reading the stories when I was young.

        His claims became even more amazing in his later life. Eg. read the stories of his so called “directed energy weapon”:

        “Conspiracy theorists” make many “interesting” claims about his claims.

  • Mohd Danial

    i dont mind if it could be integrated with wifi, that way u can move abt in the house wireless while using the phone as long it is connected via wifi. But i also like this guy’s concept. You can just dumped any hardware with the battery exposed together and charge all at once without fear of lack of space

    • Jason Yuen

      WiFi is not a magnetic technology so it is incompatible. I doubt there will ever be a wide area charging method, at least in the sense you’re thinking with this type of magnetic charging technology. There’s too many things that could interfere with it. It could be more realistic to have wireless chargers built into furniture like tables or even portable battery banks. That could potentially allow for a more flexible wide area “charging hotspot”. Imagine having a 10,000 mah wireless charging battery pack in your bag/purse while having 100% cell phone battery charge all week. Even better would be having a charge station for that battery bank that wirelessly charges when you put your bag/purse down at home.

      • Aniruddh

        This reminds of an ad I saw a while ago.
        There was this table which had magnetic induction technology(the one used in electronic induction cookers) built it. So your food doesn’t go cold on it and you don’t feel the heat. Of course, the kind of utensils would be limited.
        While the concept was good, the table was probably too expensive because I never saw the ad again nor the table anywhere.
        If they could integrate Wireless Charging in cloths or something, we could have table cloths and stuff like it that have wireless charging inbuilt.

  • John Locke

    Love this idea! Currently wireless charging is pretty limited – I like to use my phone while it’s charging…

  • Luka Mlinar

    When Nexus did it, no1 gave a shit. Now everyone is gonna go nuts over this because Samsung is doing it. F** this wold!

    • Ryan Castle

      Did you even read the article? Wireless charging is cumbersome right now because you have to align it with the charger and keep it there without being able to hold it. This would enable you to charge the phone while using it normally.

      • Luka Mlinar

        I’ll believe when i see it.

    • Balraj

      Lol..I think you should read this article again
      Btw I think Nokia was first to do it

      • Luka Mlinar

        Nikola Tesla was the first to do it ;)

        • Balraj

          In mobile phone ?

    • Nathan Borup

      sounds like someone doesn’t like samsung…

    • Luka Mlinar

      BTW i meant wireless charging in general but whatever.

  • Oli72

    my money will be waiting.

  • Balraj

    Nice tech…only if rumours turn out to be true
    I think s5 will be device to beat 2014 n g3 also :-P

  • satsmine2k4

    Do i become the conductor if i happen to come in the middle :)?

  • Dude

    That can’t be healthy

  • Cal Rankin

    This would be pretty great. Then I can pick my phone up off the nightstand and still have it charge!!

  • Robert Crosby

    thank god i know Nikola Tesla is happy that his telsa coil was not that big a sham

  • Brandon Miranda

    Hmph. Some day… Maybe it will actually be worth it. Otherwise. Well, I don’t really have an otherwise

  • James from Dallas

    If this eventually works at the airport, I guess the idea of charging your device using an airport electrical airport outlet for free might become a thing of the past. You might still want to use fixed-wire chargers outside the home. On the other hand, maybe you could plug in your personal wireless mini base station charger at work, especially if you are using your cellphone for work purposes.