Charging a device without physically connecting to a transformer or charger, is an idea that many of us embrace with great hope, is not it extremely difficult recharging a phone or tablet with the charging cable, but it would be much more comfortable and productive simply rest the device on a base or near and it begins charging immediately.
Although this technology was developed and tested many years ago, It is the clearest example of this the dental brushes Oral-B from Braun in the early 90s, the fact is that its implementation could not be extended to other products in the high-consumption market due to high costs of production, keeping away this technology from the gadgets and to the electronics enthusiasts.
Fortunately, this scene has changed, and it is possible to find articles in specialized stores and devices that use this type of wireless charging technology, also called induction charging, and are perfectly affordable for anyone.
How does this technology work?
Basically, the induction charging transfer energy between two objects using an electromagnetic field, which generally done through a charging station or dock. The resulting energy is sent through inductive coupling to an electrical device, which can then use that energy to charge your battery or just to make it work.
Generally, induction chargers used for this procedure are called “induction coils”, which are used to create the electromagnetic field necessary to charge these devices, turning this electromagnetic fields into electricity. One of these coils are located within the dock or loading station and the second induction coil must be found necessarily in the charging device. The closer the inductors are, the better the energy transfer.
With regard to this point, and although it is possible to charge devices to a few inches away from the base, it is always recommended that they are on the charger or induction base, allowing them to more efficiently charge in terms of time and heat.
Advantages and disadvantages of inductive charging in electronic devices
This wireless charging system offers some very positive benefits, beyond not need cables that interconnect the devices, and can be very interesting in areas such as health, since it would allow to charge implants and devices directly over the skin, reducing the risk infection. In this context, it could also be interesting and useful for people with disabilities or mobility problems.
In addition, they are extremely attractive for any application, basically because of its long life. This long life is due to its technical characteristics, and in particular because their parts are sealed, which protects them from moisture and hence against corrosion.
Now, even though its practical usefulness has been proven more than once, it is true that one of the major drawbacks of the system it is that are less efficient when charging a device, compared with normal charge system with plug and transformer or through USB.
This can be seen easily by comparing the values of charge time, much higher in inductive chargers, and a lower efficiency at the time of dispersing the waste heat, especially in implementations that use older technologies or lower frequencies.
Another more important point is the cost, much higher than the systems normal charge, this is mainly because the induction charging requires accurate electronics, including coils both the charger and the device, which obviously make more expensive the final product.
The inductive charging system also offers some other problems such as inability to move the device when it is charging, which is a disadvantage, because we cannot operate when needed, something that if we can do with the methods traditional charging.
The Qi standard
Due to the lack of standarized specifications on the market in all related to the terms of the induction charging, in August 2009 was established the so-called Wireless Power Consortium, whereby major manufacturers have the task to create the necessary standards, called Qi standard.
Through these standards, manufacturers will have a framework with which to design and manufacture devices that support this technology.
After working extensively with this objective, the Wireless Power Consortium unveiled the main requirements for carry out with Qi standard: devices that include this type of induction charging system should include a platform for power transmission and a compatible receiver in a portable device.
In addition, the mobile device must be placed on top of the pad power transmission, which charges the battery through electromagnetic induction. Also, the minimum distance that should be able to charge devices with this technology was set at 1.5″.
At present there are several manufacturers who have opted to include the inductive charging system on their devices. Clear examples are the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, Google LG Nexus 4, the Droid Motorola Droid 3 and 4, the HTC Droid DNA and the recently released Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Although we are used to that every new technology that comes to the market becomes obsolete the previous generation, and does not exist in most cases possibility that coexist together, the fact is that in this case it is necessary, almost mandatory that this happens, since the inductive charging technology, despite having been adopted by most of the new models of devices coming to the market, observes certain features not leave completely satisfied users.
Some negative aspects of this technology have already been described in the body of this article, and others such as the large size of these inductive chargers, which make them very difficult to transport, they are a bit more subjective, but no less true.
With their strengths and weaknesses, the inductive charging technology smells a bit more to marketing strategy than to direct advantage, and until that the system can charge more faster a device without requiring a cable cannot talk about wireless recharge; do not forget that in spite of not being tied to a connector, the device itself is tied to its charger.
For now, many of those who tested this technology through the purchase of high-end cell certainly prefer the classic method through a charger, which will ensure that your equipment is always in good condition and loaded.