This is not really a great future:
The main advantage is that you don't need to spend 3 seconds more when you want to charge your phone.
But disadvantages are a lot:
Inconvenience - When a mobile device is connected to a cable, it can be freely moved around and operated while charging. In some implementations of inductive charging, the mobile device must be left on a pad, and thus can't be moved around or easily operated while charging.
Lower efficiency, waste heat - The main disadvantages of inductive charging are its lower efficiency and increased resistive heating in comparison to direct contact. Implementations using lower frequencies or older drive technologies charge more slowly and generate heat within most portable electronics.
More costly - Inductive charging also requires drive electronics and coils in both device and charger, increasing the complexity and cost of manufacturing.
Slower charging - due to the lower efficiency, devices can take longer to charge when supplied power is equal.
Healty - Wireless charging using hight frecvency gain the charging efficiency, but also emits electromagnetics waves around the device (SAR value is high)
I think the only time I'll use it (if all the devices are wireless charging enabled) is if the charger is a large pail and I need to charge 20+ things at once. Just dump everything in and collect tomorrow morning.
Military/security/event companies with a ton of walkies will find this very useful.
[citation][nom]rhangman[/nom]Less efficient than a plug. Even if they can manage 99% efficiency, they sold something like 170 million smart phones last quarter. That's still a heap of wasted power.[/citation]
Standard switchmode power supply (plugpack) is less than 85% usually. Then again, the wireless charger will need a plugpack too.
I still think it's a gimmick, but it could be more mainstream in a few years. If someone made one able to cover say a desk, then it would be more useful. EMF would be a bit strong for my liking by then though.
Remember how you hate having a separate charger for every device? Enjoy having a separate power mat for every device. If these companies haven't figured out that this cries out for standardization, then there's no guarantee these things will inter-operate nicely.
This isn't about 3 seconds saved by not having to hunt for the wire. This is about
1) Preventing you to FORGET the plug in the 1st place. If my table can charge my phone, when I rest my phone on the table, get distracted chasing my kids around the house, and forget to plug my phone it, it doesn't matter: The phone has been charging.
2) The start of the ability to generate water resistant phones. Each new connector added to the phone adds one more point of failure for a device to be compromised in the event of water spillage. Since most phones have already done away with SD cards, and you can get away with bluetooth everything for connectivity, the only connector left is the all powerful datacord. I am not saying this is a mainstream issue, but a welcomed one to those of us who occasionally walk in the rain...
I can't believe it's taken this long for this tech to come this far. This should be standard on ALL phones by now.
Furthermore, I can't believe that so many people have such issue with it. This would be a MAJOR money and time-saver for me. I manage a fleet of 36 smartphones for my company, and the NUMBER ONE issue that I have with phones is broken microUSB ports. It's not worth the cost to replace the port, it's cheaper (in the long run) and quicker to just replace the phone. Wireless charging would eliminate that issue completely, and then my only chronic issue would be broken screens, and that's almost completely an iPhone-exclusive problem. I would no longer be replacing barely-year-old phones because they cannot be charged.
I really enjoyed the wireless dock touchstone when i had my palm pre, it was pretty innovative and had some functionality liek pick up the phoen for auto answer put back on charger while talkgin to go to speaker. it was not as efficient as cord charging though so if i only had a limited time to charge i would just plug it directly into the phone
the only advantage i ould see for this is integrating power mats into places like bus stations , train stations and airports so that poeple can charge thier device without having to find a place with an outlet.. but then again it involves setting your device on a table i would want to be sitting next to it to avoid it being stolen but given how little power wireless devices use and the numebr of outlets compared to small tables in different transportation agrencies i would call it semi-useful tech
I agree Jerky_san, Tesla was working on a truly wireless power system that would have eliminated batteries altogether. I believe Intel is working on a similar system where one can place a light about 10 feet away from the power source. Also, this type of induction charging system would be pretty good for wireless mice, a charging mouse pad wired to the PC and the wireless mouse on top.
[citation][nom]aramisathei[/nom]Takes years of R&D to work out the kinks and get products functioning how we'd like to see them.Look at any cellphone from 10 years ago vs today, or an Atari 2600 to any modern console.It's an interesting concept, but time will tell if it proves practical.[/citation]
There are no modern console, their based on 6 years old hardware...
I sure hope this doesn't go main stream in its current form. Not because it's not useful, but because it's completely wasteful from an energy standpoint. There is so much effort in the consumer industry to eliminate "Vampire" devices from our homes (because they add up to bug $$$ over time). Well, wireless chargers are simply LESS efficient versions of their corded versions. That means that we will be using MORE energy to do the same job. I guess this opens the door for more innovation.
[citation][nom]jacobdrj[/nom]2) The start of the ability to generate water resistant phones. Each new connector added to the phone adds one more point of failure for a device to be compromised in the event of water spillage. Since most phones have already done away with SD cards, and you can get away with bluetooth everything for connectivity, the only connector left is the all powerful datacord. I am not saying this is a mainstream issue, but a welcomed one to those of us who occasionally walk in the rain...[/citation]
Or they can just put plugs on the ports.
My last 2 phones have had plugs (not even rugged phones) and I love it, it keeps dust, pocket lint and other garbage out of the ports. It even looks better because there's no holes.
"about to go mainstream" is a bit wishful thinking and outright misleading given the lack of a single standard for the manufacturers and the users to rally behind currently. Yeah, different device makers will put different "somethings" out there, but don't expect any one to take off until users get what they want, and what they want is to not have to buy three different charging pads for the three different phones in their household. Reminds me a lot of bluetooth which was around for years in limbo before it truly took off and literally went mainstream.
Never say never. There are lots of great examples where people said "why would I do ?" and now everyone does that or can't imagine not doing it.
That said, adoption/usage all comes down to practicality. Before this can become widespread in use, it needs all the following which have been mentioned here and in other comments:
(1) A unified standard with reliable interoperability across manufacturers
(2) Practicality in implementation/size/integration (i.e. can't make phones noticeably bigger nor heavier)
(3) Practicality in economics for implementing this for manufacturers and pricing for end consumers
(4) Practicality in efficiency - lower efficiencies are counter to the current trends in design and engineering for a reason
(5) Practicality in interactions with it - the sweet spot on the mats needs to be fairly large to accommodate real world usage scenarios.
. Think about recharging on the dresser, or the in-car "tray", or even a bag (purse or back-pack) where things shift around.