What is wireless charging?
In its simplest terms, it is charging an electrical device without the need to connect a charging wire. Although there are a number of different technologies being developed, the most commonly used technology on the market right now is Qi. Pronounced “Chee” Qi, is an electromagnetic inductive charging process. Having entered the mainstream in the last couple of years you are more than likely to have seen or even used a wireless charging port.
How does it work?
- Electromagnetic induction requires two electrical coils; a transmitter and a receiver.
- Transmitter – this takes the power and creates an oscillating magnetic field.
- Receiver – picks up the magnetic field and converts this back into power to charge the device, when placed within range.
Are all devices supported by Qi technology?
No, more and more companies are now developing their products to allow for Qi wireless technology. A large number of smartphones have the technology already built-in including Samsung, Google and Nokia. Apple recently announced that they will support wireless charging with their latest range of iPhoness, confirming that the long awaited range of iPhones will be compatible with the Qi charging ecosystem, which is available world wide.
In addition to smartphones you can also charge other devices such as tablets, Bluetooth headsets, portable power packs, speakers, keyboards and styluses and cameras.
Don’t panic if your smartphone is not supported though as there are a number of products out there to allow your device to be wirelessly charged, including phone cases, charging mats and keyring receivers that plug into micro-USB or Lightning points.
Where can I charge?
Wireless charging is now commercially available, you will be able to find ports in a number of industries with well-known brands such as McDonalds, Costa Coffee, Virgin lounges, offering charge points, allowing you to charge whilst you work or rest or play.
Aircharge have developed an app to help you find your nearest charge port for when you are out and about and running low on battery. Recently furniture store Ikea has launched its own range of wireless charging products which support Qi so you can now have wireless charging in your own home.
Is it safe?
The range of the electromagnetic field is very small that is does not have an impact on our health meaning that inductive charging is a safe way for us to charge our electronic devices.