Wireless charging goes vertical

April 9, 2013
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wireless charging

Wireless charging has long been one of those features we wish would be implemented as a standard, but nobody seems to be able to figure out. The Nexus 4 was touted as having the feature at launch, but it was months before we saw an actual charger at retail. Many thought the technology may just get lost in the shuffle, doomed to be ‘what could have been’.

Our friends at CNET are reporting a fascinating new breakthrough in wireless charging. One that not only promises to be a step forward, but also see the light of day on a wider scale. To begin with, there are three governing bodies of wireless charging; the Qi consortium, Power Matters, and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). To date, those three have all gone their own route, but the Alliance for Wireless Power has positioned itself as the future of wireless charging. As the developers of this new technology, they believe the other two wireless charging conglomerates will need to get on board with them moving forward… and the just might be right.

So what’s the technology?

The new wireless charging technology lets you charge your items in a vertical field, rather than placing them on a charging pad. It’s not an earth shattering development, as the charging coils are generally just larger, but it does have a lot of promise moving forward. Those larger coils create an energy field of sorts, or what the A4WP calls “spatial freedom”, which is meant to charge those devices with wireless charging capabilities that come to rest in the charging zone.

As we move into the next realm of mobile devices, with things like Smartwatches or Google Glass, this holds quite a bit of promise and needed functionality. With the advent of a vertical charging field, we can place items in an area, not a spot. This also has the promise of being built straight into things like desks, cars, nightstands, or whatever else we can imagine it would be useful in.

Of course, the further away from the charging source your device is, the slower it charges. If it were built into something like a car console, we’d be happier to take the scenic route while our Google Glass charged up, with our smartphone right under it. It will also be nice to not have to balance a device in a specific spot, on a charging pad. Toss a device in a charging area, and go on with your life. Sounds perfect to me.

 

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