The early 21st century marked a turning point for wireless charging, as it began to gain widespread popularity (Shutterstock).

In an age when our lives are increasingly dependent on electronic devices, the need for efficient and convenient ways to recharge them is greater than ever.

Wireless charging, one of the marvels of modern technology, has become a ubiquitous feature in our homes, offices and even our cars, a technology used to deliver electrical power to a device without the need for wires.

Wireless charging provides a convenient and easy way to charge mobile devices, and it doesn't require users to connect their devices to charging cables, which means they can charge their devices without having to stop what they're doing.

The story from the beginning

The story of wireless charging began with the American-Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, who envisioned a world in which electricity could be transmitted wirelessly, and his dream was to provide power to the whole world without the need for wires and cables.

Tesla's experiments in wireless energy transmission began in earnest in the late nineties of the nineteenth century, as it built a huge device known as the "Tesla Coil" that generated high-frequency electromagnetic fields.

Tesla showed that energy could be transmitted wirelessly by lighting lamps wirelessly, a phenomenon that amazed audiences of his time through magnetic assimilation technology.

Despite his pioneering work, Tesla's dream of wireless power transmission around the world faced many technical and financial challenges, and fought for funding for his ambitious project, but ultimately remained unfulfilled during his lifetime. However, his pioneering work laid the foundation for future advances in wireless technology.

Wireless charging has continued to grow and major modern technology companies have integrated this technology into their major devices (Getty Images)

The advent of wireless charging

After Tesla's time, wireless power transmission remained relatively inert for decades, and interest in wireless charging was only revived in the mid-twentieth century, when scientists and engineers began exploring the concept of inductive charging.

This concept forms the basis of many wireless charging systems in use today. The early twenty-first century marked a turning point for wireless charging, as it began to gain widespread popularity. Companies such as Nokia introduced the first commercial wireless charging products, especially for mobile phones.

In 2012, the Nokia Lumia 920 became the first commercially available smartphone to offer built-in wireless charging capabilities based on the Qi specification, the standard for the wireless power transfer interface using inductive charging, according to GSM Arena.

These systems used inductive charging technology, allowing users to charge devices by placing them on the charging pad.

Wireless charging technology has continued to grow, with major smartphone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung integrating the technology into their flagship devices.

The move spurred further innovation, as advances such as faster charging speeds and longer charging distances became possible.

Wireless charging allows electrical energy to be transferred from the charging source to the mobile device without a direct electrical connection (Getty Images)

Types of wireless charging technology

Wireless charging technology is a technology that allows electrical energy to be transmitted from the charging source to the mobile device without the need for a direct electrical connection.

The technology is based on the principle of RF energy transfer or magnetic absorption, allowing devices to charge when they are close to the power source.

There are three main types of wireless charging technology:

  • Inductive wireless charging: This charging technology uses the principle of electromagnetic induction and is used in medium-sized mobile devices, such as the Qi wireless charging standard for smartphones and smart wearables.
  • Radio wireless charging: This type of charging technology uses a set of small batteries, consumes very little electricity, and this technology is commonly used with wireless keyboards, wireless mouse, medical equipment, hearing aids, watches, music players, and other devices.
  • Resonant charging: It is a completely different type of charging technology used in devices that require a great deal of energy, and these methods are used in large laptops, electric vehicles, vacuum cleaners and robots.

Advantages of wireless charging technology

Wireless charging technology offers many advantages that make it a preferred choice for many users, as wireless charging is more convenient than connecting to a cable.

Users can charge devices when they are close to the power supply without the need for physical connections.

Wireless charging reduces the need for interlocking cables and chargers, making the space more organized, and reduces damage from frequent cable use, improving device safety.

Wireless chargers offer great flexibility, as they can be used in a variety of places, such as home, car or in public places.

Wireless charging technology is compatible with many mobile devices, because it is based on specific standards, such as qi. Wireless charging systems allow charging more than one device at the same time, boosting efficiency.

Wireless charging is useful in improving energy efficiency and delivering enough power to devices in less time. Thanks to the use of wireless charging, it is possible to reduce dependence on plastic cables and thus achieve a positive impact on the environment.

Wireless charging doesn't put users at risk of burns or electric shock, and wireless charging isn't as easily damaged as charging cables.

Wireless chargers are available in different shapes, sizes and capacities, allowing users to choose the right charger for their needs.

Some mobile device manufacturers have begun removing ports from their devices, relying on wireless charging as the primary method of charging.

Charging speed and efficiency are affected by the temperature change of the battery and the device, as warming increases energy loss (social media)

Cons of wireless charging technology

Wireless charging technology also has some drawbacks, including lower wireless charging efficiency compared to wired charging.

The technology also suffers from high cost, as wireless chargers are usually more expensive than wired chargers due to the complexity of their design and manufacture.

Other downsides are related to speed, as wireless charging speeds are usually slower than wired charging, because electrical energy has to be transmitted from the charger to the mobile device via the magnetic field, resulting in some losses.

Mobile devices need wireless charging support to work with a wireless charger, and not all mobile devices support wireless charging. Wireless chargers take up more space than wired chargers, due to the need for a large charging pad to deliver power to the mobile device.

Charging speed and efficiency may be affected by changing battery and device temperature, as warming increases energy loss. The spacing of some wireless charging systems also reduces their efficiency, as the receiving device must be located very close to the power source.

Some people raise concerns about the safety of wireless charging and its potential impact on human health, even though it has been approved by leading health authorities.

The future of wireless charging technology

Wireless charging has a promising future in light of the continued technological developments and innovations in this field, and there are a set of expectations and future trends for wireless charging technology:

Fast charging: A prominent trend is the relentless pursuit of faster wireless charging speeds that rival or exceed traditional wired charging speeds.

Broadband wireless charging: The development of large-scale wireless charging is a game-changer, promising seamless and wireless charging, and future developments may include wireless remote charging technologies, allowing devices to charge from distances from the power source.

Integration in everyday environments: Wireless charging is gradually finding its way into our daily lives through furniture, worktops and car interiors equipped with built-in wireless charging capabilities, and this seamless integration of technology into our surroundings enhances comfort and accessibility.

Global compatibility: Global standards increase compatibility between different devices and brands, fostering a more cohesive ecosystem, where users can charge multiple devices from smartphones to wearables via a single charging pad.

Eco-friendly solutions: Sustainability is a growing concern, and wireless charging goes well with eco-friendly practices.

Multi-device charging: As we become increasingly interconnected, the need for multi-device charging solutions is increasing, and wireless multi-file charging platforms are gaining popularity, allowing users to charge multiple devices simultaneously, from smartphones to earphones and smartwatches.

Integration with cars: Wireless charging in the automotive sector is poised for significant growth, and electric vehicle manufacturers are exploring wireless charging options to simplify the EV charging process, making it more convenient and accessible.

Healthcare devices and the Internet of Things: Wireless charging is set to play a vital role in the operation of medical implants, wearable health devices and IoT sensors, and the ability to charge these devices wirelessly enhances patient care and enables continuous data collection.

Public charging infrastructure: Public places such as cafes, airports and hotels are increasingly providing wireless charging stations to patrons, and this trend is expected to expand as wireless charging becomes a standard convenience.

Standardization and regulation: The development of industry standards and regulations for wireless charging is critical to ensuring interoperability and safety, and ongoing efforts in this direction promote a reliable and secure wireless charging ecosystem.

Resonant wireless charging of devices allows a measure of freedom even when they are not neatly aligned with the charging pad

These projections reflect the potential future trends of wireless charging technology that is expected to continue to improve and evolve to meet the growing needs of users.

According to research cited by MarketSand Market, the worldwide wireless charging market was valued at $4.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $13.4 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 24.6% between 2021 and 2026.

Today, the world of wireless charging is expanding beyond inductive methods, with two promising technologies looming: resonant wireless charging and radio-frequency wireless charging.

Resonant wireless charging allows greater spatial freedom, allowing devices to charge even when they are not neatly aligned with the charging pad. This technology is being explored for applications in electric vehicles and others.

Radio frequency wireless charging, on the other hand, uses radio waves to transmit power over longer distances, opening up the possibilities of charging devices without the need for physical contact, such as remote sensors and wearables.

In conclusion, the story of wireless charging is a story of perseverance, innovation and vision of a wire-free world that began with Tesla's pioneering work.

From its humble origins in the nineteenth century to its integration into our daily lives in the twenty-first century, wireless charging has come a long way.

As we continue to push the boundaries of what's possible, the future holds even more exciting developments in wireless power, promising a world where we can recharge our devices seamlessly and effortlessly.

Source : Al Jazeera + Websites