The Transforming Effects of Wireless Charging
Inductive charging was invented by Nicolai Tesla in 1890, but it's only recently become a major game-changer in today's technology. Also known as wireless charging, it uses the relationship between magnetism and electricity to recharge batteries without wired connections. Small devices are already using inductive charging. Cell phone charger mats, for instance, are commercially available, and so are inductive chargers for game system remotes. Today, researchers are working on ways to transmit wireless energy across much larger distances without interfering with electronics or broadcast waves. Your office in the not-too-distant future may allow all your electronic devices to recharge wirelessly and automatically.
How This Technology Works
Induction charging uses an induction coil to convert wired electrical energy into a powerful magnetic field. When electronic devices are placed in that field, the magnetism is converted back into electrical energy and stored in the battery. There are dozens of ways you might be able to use wireless charging in a small business, from a central cell phone charging station to a wireless electric car charger.
As more technology becomes wireless, the value of induction charging will only grow. Soon, wireless charging may be able to eliminate the ever-increasing Gordian knot of charging cords many of us carry around today, making it easier to keep our devices powered up and ready to go.
How Your Business Can Adopt This Today
Wireless charging technology is just starting to ramp up. In Madison Square Garden, iPhones with charger-compatible cases can be charged at pads located in corporate boxes. Starbucks and Delta Air Lines Sky Clubs are beginning to incorporate charging pads into tables and bars.
There are plans to develop sleeves and adapters for other mobile technologies such as laptops and tablet computers. Industry experts are predicting an explosion in wireless charging technology by 2015, and large companies such as Google and Samsung are already jockeying to be the dominant providers of induction products.
Every new technology comes with its own set of potential obstacles, and induction charging is no different. A standards battle is already brewing, with one group of industries lining up in support of the PMA and another group supporting the Wireless Power Consortium. The Wireless Power Consortium may have an edge now, as its Qi chargers have been in market for awhile, but the PMA is increasingly well-funded and supported by giants such as Google and Duracell.
There's also the cost of wireless charging retrofitting. Although many wireless devices will have compatible charging sleeves, they will never be as efficient or fast-charging as devices created specifically for wireless charging. Cost, however, may not be one of the obstacles of wireless charging. As compatibility sleeves for smartphones are expected to cost only slightly more than standard mobile phone covers do today.
Induction charging technology has been around for more than 100 years, but its just now finding practical application in todays technology. Widespread early adoption perhaps is not imminent, due to the standards battle; however, business owners should read up on this new technology and consider investing in a wireless charging sleeve and charging pad for testing purposes.