Smartphones, tablets and mobile devices rule our lives. But sadly, we are still dependent on the need to plugin (as exemplified by my laptop, which only works plugged into the wall, making it the world’s most foldable desktop). But when we are walking around with our devices snapping pics for Instagram, streaming jams through Spotify at the gym, reading the New York Times on the train or simply chatting or texting away, there’s always a little nagging fear about what we will do if our device (gasp!) suddenly runs out of battery. Luckily, there’s a solution to this: wireless charging.
I first heard about wireless charging when I saw the super cool, super hip Nokia ad for their Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 phones. While I was surprised that Apple wasn’t the first major company to launch wireless charging, I was intrigued by how it worked.
Basically, instead of needing a dock to connect the battery to, wireless charging (also known as inductive charging) uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy from a charging pad to the battery. Nokia has released a few different options for wireless charging pads, including a case. That way, you can literally charge your device while walking around.
While this technology is still in the early stages, it is important to have on our radar. Not only will wireless charging change how we think about and interact with our devices, this technology will eventually allow for even more, now tethered, technologies to become mobile. Plus, from a business perspective, it will open up a whole new set of potential products.
Wireless charging isn’t just limited to mobile devices. A bus line in Mannheim, Germany is testing PRIMOVE inductive charging technology, which will charge an electric bus through charging pads buried underneath the road. To conserve energy, the pads are switched on by the pressure of the bus passing overhead. The on-the-go charging systems reduce chances for delays caused by uncharged busses, and, the smaller batteries allow for more passenger space. Plus, apart from bikes, this bus may just be the greenest mode of transportation ever.
Wireless charging could help to further seamlessly integrate technologies in our lives. Not having to worry about wires, chargers and docking stations will allow us to rely on our devices more than ever and use them to their full potential. Wirelessly charged devices will also open the floodgates for new innovative technologies, and we are excited to see what comes next. Have an idea for what the next wirelessly charged device should be? Tell us in the comments below.
Gaby is a Consultant at Greenough. Follow her on Twitter: @Gabyberk