We’ve all been there before. Away from a power source for too long and your smartphone battery is depleting. Fast.

And it always seems to happen at the worst possible moments, doesn’t it? When you’re running late for an important client meeting. When you’re about to video capture that once-in-a-lifetime moment. Or when you’re lost in the sticks without that trusty inbuilt GPS!

It’s no wonder that wireless charging will soon become a necessity in today’s fast-paced society.  And as always, Urban Intelligence is here to answer your questions about this booming new trend.

What is wireless charging and how does it work?

Thanks to wireless charging, we’ll soon be saying goodbye to the tedious task of fishing around for the right cables and swapping devices around like the Mad Hatter.

Wireless charging uses magnetic induction technology to charge smartphones and tablets. We simply place our device on a small mat or platform and our device charges away. With no cables in sight.

It’ll be as simple as placing a cup of coffee on a table and picking it up again when it’s time to sip.

Is wireless charging already available?

 

Galaxy-S6-Wireless-Charging-Pad

Wireless charging devices are already available on many devices – with others requiring an additional cover including wireless charging technology.

 

Some smart devices already contain wireless charging technology which can be easily activated in your phone’s settings. However, many devices – including the current iPhone – require an additional case that supports wireless charging.

But before long, we envisage offices, homes and schools to offer communal charging tables with universal wireless charging abilities.

So what technologies are out there – and which is best?

The most popular wireless technology is called Qi. Already available in some Nexus and Nokia (Microsoft) Lumia smartphones, Qi provides good charging speeds and highly sensitive device-charging station alignment.

Qi uses two coils of wire – one which sits in your wireless charging platform (or mat) and another which sits in your device or charging case. Put simply, the coil in your charging platform emits an oscillating magnetic field which induces electricity into the receiving coil (i.e. your device or its case).

An alternative to Qi is Rezence, the preferred technology of Samsung and Intel.

Like Qi, Rezence uses coils of wire to create a usable magnetic field – but it also tunes the oscillation frequency to precisely match the receiver with the transmitter. This increases the maximum transfer distance before power diminishes, but results in suboptimal power transfer.

So which is best? Although Qi wins in maximum power transfer, Rezence allows you to charge multiple devices at once without having to align them perfectly. And we think that’s a big tick for Rezence.

So why is IKEA getting in on the wireless charging bandwagon?

ikea-qi-charging-pad

The NORDMARKE wireless charging pad fits in seamlessly in any decor

You guessed it. IKEA is introducing wireless charging furniture!

Imagine it now. Coffee tables, bedside tables and computer desks with built-in wireless charging platforms for your devices to rest on. The result is a seamless combination of sleek, Nordic IKEA designs, with clean, modern technology.

Soon to be released in the US (but no word yet on Australia), the JYSSEN wireless charger can also be integrated into your existing IKEA furniture – either with a (supplied) custom drill bit or by fitting it into the cord outlet that comes with many IKEA desks.

IKEA is also introducing the Varv Table Lamp with its own inbuilt charger. Priced at only US$70, the lamp is designed to fit into any living space, no matter what the décor.

For simpler alternatives, the NORDMARKE wireless charging pad will be under US$30 and will not look out of place on any surface. IKEA is also releasing the VITAHULT – a mobile wireless charging phone case which fits a wide range of models.

Although still in its infancy, wireless charging will soon be accessible and affordable for mainstream users. Urban Intelligence looks forward to watching its progression over the coming months and to supporting its widespread adoption in 2016.”

Dr Lior Rauchberger, Director, Urban Intelligence

Please contact us to learn more about wireless charging in your home or workplace.