Wireless technology has for many of us, transformed the way we access the internet at home and we’ve never looked back. Thankfully though, the magic didn’t stop there. One emerging technology is wireless charging of gadgets, and it is set to be a feature in our homes from as early as the end of this year.
Imagine how convenient it would be if you could charge all your electronic gadgets without having to plug them in. You could leave your iPhone, iPad or digital camera sitting on the coffee table and by the time you’ve finished watching the news the battery is charged.
Eric Giler is the CEO of WiTricity Corporation, the company behind the development. He says wireless charging is based on magnetic induction – the same technology used to charge electronic toothbrushes.
The system channels power from an induction coil to a similar ‘receiving’ coil inside or attached to a gadget, even ‘bouncing around’ objects in the home.
This technology will not be sold directly to consumers. Instead we will have to carefully select the products where the magnetic coils have been installed by manufacturers.
Giler says WiTricity have already agreed a deal with MediaTek, a semiconductor company in Taiwan. The two companies will collaborate on systems for wireless charging of mobile handsets, tablet computers, game controllers and other devices. Whether their agreement extends to more dominant brands such as Apple or Samsung remains to be seen.
The catch however is distance. “Induction” will work from a distance of up to two meters but is far more effective from close range to the point where it works best with direct contact is undoubtedly a revelation that is set to transform the way we use technology in our homes.