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Charge your smartphone without wires

Users just need to put their phone or tablet on a pad that uses a magnetic field for charging.

So far, smartphone users have had to regularly plug their device into a power outlet to keep it running. Chances are that this process will soon become easier with wireless charging technology.

The Wireless Power Consortium, which comprises 81 companies, has developed a charging standard called Qi.

With Qi, all the user needs to do is to place the smartphone on the charging pad (Qi mat), which is connected to a power source. The battery then automatically gets charged with the help of coils that create a magnetic field.

This method is called inductive charging, and not all devices are compatible with the Qi charger.

Wireless charging is not a new idea. It was first demonstrated in 1891 by Tesla. There are two methods of wireless charging currently being talked about. One charges over the air and the other uses magnetic induction (a charging pad).

There are two magnetic coils used in the second method. One magnetic coil is in the charging pad; and the other is in the device, such as a smartphone or iPad.

Intel and WiTriCity are attempting to power their devices over the air, using the same magnetic induction technology. The efficiency of this method, however, is under question. Demonstrations so far have either used big magnets, or devices have been in close proximity to make the charging process efficient. Users might also be worried about the effect electromagnetic radiation has on their bodies.

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