Everything Wrong With Wireless Chargers | Untangled

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Even though most newer phones have wireless charging, one research report from IHS showed that only 29% of people use it. Why hasn’t it taken off?

Following is a transcript of the video:

Wireless charging sounds great, right? Just plop your phone on a stand, a pad, or even furniture with built-in wireless charging, and voila, it starts charging. No cables, no fuss.

Even though most newer phones have wireless charging, one research report showed that only 29% of people use it. Why hasn't it taken off?

Well, first of all, you need a phone or a phone case that's capable of wireless charging, and not everyone has one. Qi is the standard for almost all wireless chargers. Phones that support Qi are mainly newer phones from Apple, Samsung, Google, and LG.

Secondly, wireless chargers are slower than wired chargers. The thing about wireless charging is it uses something called electromagnetic induction, basically transferring energy from one place, like your charging mat, for example, to another, your phone.

Wireless charging uses two physical coils. The induction coil in the charger and the receiver coil in the phone. If you don't align the two coils on top of each other, your device won't charge correctly. This method of charging is slower than plugging your phone straight into an outlet, which lets the power flow from the outlet through the wired charger to your phone.

Most wired chargers have a rating of at least 12 watts, while most wireless chargers only reach about 7.5 or 10 watts. Basically, the smaller the number, the longer it'll take to charge your phone. And if you have a case for your phone, it'll charge even slower, or might not even work at all.

Some wireless chargers do have a fast-charge mode, but it'll only work with phones from the same manufacturer. So a Google Qi charger might fast-charge a Pixel but not a Galaxy. Yes, if you're not looking for a fast charger, or if you're only charging your phone at night while you sleep, then a wireless charger could work for you.

But for the most part, you can't use your phone while it charges wirelessly. If you take your phone off the wireless charger to do anything, it'll stop charging. You can't text comfortably without lifting your phone off the charger, you can't sit on the couch and scroll through Instagram, and you can't even take a phone call properly. But with a cord, you can do all those tasks while staying plugged in.

Also, these wireless chargers are technically not wireless. They still have to be plugged into an outlet. The only wireless part about it is eliminating the wire between your phone and the charger.The price of these chargers is another issue. The more affordable chargers range from $15 to $30, while the fancier ones cost anywhere from $60 to $100. But it doesn't look like wireless charging is disappearing anytime soon. One report is expecting that by 2023, there will be a cumulative shipment of 2.7 billion wireless chargers and 6 billion devices with wireless charging capabilities.

But for wireless charging to become the norm, companies will need to figure out ways to make it more practical and frictionless. Companies like Pi, Energous, and Ossia are getting there with their truly wireless charging products. They claim that their products can charge multiple devices wirelessly when you bring them within a short range, kind of like how WiFi works.

Basically, if you hold or place your wireless charging phone, tablet, and headphones around the wireless charger, it'll begin to charge your devices, which sounds pretty cool and is a great step forward. But the thing is, none of these companies have released their product yet. It's just all talk. Just like Apple with their AirPower. So, I'll believe it when I'm scrolling through Instagram on my couch while truly charging my phone wirelessly.

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Everything Wrong With Wireless Chargers | Untangled
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Science & Technology

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