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The dawn of wireless charging

Ok – so the heart rate has gone down again, life can slowly get back to normal. Apple have finally released the product we all already knew about. One upgrade to the flagship phones is wireless charging.

If we are being technically correct, consumer grade wireless charging solutions have been kicking around for at least a decade. The basic technology is a couple of coils of wire in close proximity, transferring energy via inductive coupling. Hardly new or exciting! However, as with lots of things, the barriers to widespread adoption are not the basic theory or practice, they are about behaviour change, UX and are often scuppered by poor implementation.

So here we are.

2017 and the yearly iPhone hyper hype (now hosted in the new exuberant AppleShip) comes with the news that the ever innovative Apple have adopted the decade old protocol, built on the back of centuries old technology and finally integrated wireless charging into the iPhone. Well done guys. You must have some pretty special stuff going on in your ivory doughnut.

Of course, what this means is that millions of Apple fanboys (like me) will now have wireless charging in their pockets and will want to charge their power hungry fumble pads with the new technology. Apple have adopted the QI wireless standard into their devices, for the first time seemingly abandoning the policy of approving all power accessories through the MFi program (and charging a license fee for the privilege).

With Apple going down the QI route, hopefully the other technology implementations will now die a death and open the way for widespread adoption of wireless charging with QI, allowing ‘enabled furniture’ suppliers to provide solutions that work for all devices and a simplicity in the connection and utilisation of wireless charging for all of us. Will that be the end of it? Unlikely… It’s no coincidence that consumer goods lead to consuming goods…

We note with interest that the new Apple devices have the ability to work with resonant changing technology that will, when it fully emerges, allow longer-range charging of about a foot or so from the source.

It’s taken ten years and multiple companies ‘pioneering’ wireless charging.

Apple have now cemented it as a ‘thing’ and I predict that in the coming year we will see almost all new phones coming as Wireless Power enabled (with QI) and that the charging points required to make it a truly low friction option will emerge in public places and coffee shops across the land. At last folks – wireless charging is here.

To discuss how you can make your device wireless charging enabled, without digging around in your bag for a wire to plug into your wireless charging mat, contact us

By Jacob Skinner, CEO of NDP, Product Development expert. 

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