Wireless Charging: Sci-fi or Sci-Fact?

Wireless chargers are a very sought after device. So much so that the titan of a company that is Apple, is hiring a bunch of wireless charger experts. The Bloomberg report has stated that Apple hopes to release the new 2017 iPhones with a wireless charging feature. The question you have to ask is, “Is technology advanced enough for this to work?” One company that is currently developing wireless charging called uBeam recently had a former employee say that the reason that uBeam has yet to do a public demonstration is because the technology that they are advertising doesn’t work how they say it works. At this point “Wireless Charging” is at the point where people can use specially designed charging mats to charge their phone. This mat makes it so that you don’t have to plug in your phone and could actually be helpful for phones where the connector is broken. However, this mat still has to be plugged in and you also have to be relatively close to the mat in order for it to actually charge your phone. Where the technology is today you might as well just buy a five foot charger cable and save yourself the hassle.

Apple wants to change all of this. They are currently working on technology that would let you walk around the room all the while charging your phone. Other companies that claim to have the ability to charge your phone at a distance are Energous and Ossia. Ossia claims they use microwaves to wirelessly transmit the energy required to charge your phone while Energous say they use radio waves. However, neither one of these two companies have shipped a commercial product or have had the public test their products. While these two are using microwaves and radio waves, Apple is looking to use something a bit different, like uBeam they will try to harness ultrasonic technology in order to charge phones.

While some are a bit skeptical about Apple’s plans, Apple has already added wireless charging to their Apple Watches. Again it is not able to be charged over a distance it is still a step in a new direction. This is one thing that would give Apple a huge edge over their rival companies. In fact Apple made a $11.1 billion dollars profit in their 4th quarter last year. They still have a long way to go to be the most popular brand. Out of the around 330,000 smartphones sold in the second quarter of 2015, over 270,000 of those sold were phones running an android operating system. Only around 48,000 of those sold were phones running an IOS operating system. Wireless charging could easily tilt these numbers in their favor.


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