A World of Wireless Charging

Charging electronic devices without wires? Nicola Tesla would be shouting triumphantly.

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Nokia has been taunting and tantalizing tech adventurers with the dream of ubiquitous wireless charging for years, both conventional and unconventional approaches.  With the recent announcement of the Lumia 920 and 820 smartphones, that carrot is no longer dangling.  The cable-free charging future is here.

For now that will be limited to a handful of cutting-edge devices from forward-thinking manufacturers, especially those following the Qi charging standard.  Critics like to point out the drawbacks: inductive charging is slow and the chargers are bulky, to name an obvious two.

But that’s short-sighted.

Dismissals and mocking comments disingenuously ignore the upsides.  For one, the technology makes it easier to charge multiple devices in a small area.  It also reduces damage risk to charging devices; readers who have experienced someone tripping over a phone charging cord know exactly what I mean.

And that’s just the near-term status quo.  Let’s be bold like Nicola Tesla and envision a wireless charging ecosystem.

Already, the seeds are being planted.  Along with the new Lumia introductions, Nokia announced that Virgin Atlantic will soon begin introducing wireless charging into some of its airport lounges.  Likewise, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf are ready to add wireless charge stations to their shops.

From there we will no doubt see furniture manufacturers come on board.  And consider: almost every stationary electrical device becomes a potential auxiliary charger. It’s a small matter to add the necessary functionality. Need a boost for your flagging cell phone battery?  Set it down on your Qi-compatible home stereo console.  Or near a participating television set.  Or the dashboard of your automobile.  You get the picture.

Not only that, but companies like Powermat paved the way some time ago with add-on solutions.  Early adopters are ready.

Still, as with any new advents, some time will pass before this vision becomes commonplace reality.  But the momentum is there, and if the new Lumias prove to sell as well as signs now indicate, the future looks bright indeed for wireless charging.

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