No Touching, Please

5
Mar. 2019

The latest Samsung Galaxy phones (and the Huawei Promate 20) now offer ‘reverse wireless charging’. This means that no only can these phones be charged by placing them right on a Qi charging pad, they can also serve as a charging pad for other devices. Thus, if your friend is out of battery and you feel generous, you can allow him to siphon some of your battery and charge his phone a little bit.

These phones use magnetic induction charging which sends energy over very short distances (for an overview of short- and long-range charging technologies, download an infographic from here). The problem with short-range charging is, as the name implies, that it is short-range. It requires someone to precisely align the charged device with the charging device. It involves a human in the loop and it pretty much takes both charging and charged devices out of use during the charging process.

What is needed is long-range wireless power transfer. One that does not require touching once device to another. One that does not require a human to be part of the charging process. One that can make phones and other devices appear to charge themselves without any human intervention.

Reverse short-range wireless charging is a nice feature, but the real disruption in charging will come once long-range wireless power technologies are embedded into consumer devices.

 

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