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Long Range Wireless Charging : You Can Charge Your phone From Across The Room

The future is here already. Wireless Charging has been around on Samsung and Iphone but very different from what I am about to write about in this article. Wireless charging tech of the kind employed by Apple, Samsung, and other device makers still involves plugging in a charging pad and putting your phone on it. Apple, IKEA, LG and Samsung had used the Qi (pronounced Chi) Standard charger for their wireless devices.

Qi Wireless Power device (air power) charging Iphone and Apple Watch and Airpod. Air Power will be release soon and will charged all apple devices.

Qi standard is a method of inductive and resonant charging that works at farther distances than just directly from the transmission point. Qi is certified by the Wireless Power Consortium. The Consortium state  that “With inductive charging, the charge passes between a transmitter and receiver coil placed closely together, usually only separated by the outer casing of the two devices (<7mm).” With resonant charging, “the transmitter can detect and charge existing Qi receivers at greater distances (up to 45mm).”

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QiStone Charging a phone

Qi wireless charging uses a system of magnetic induction coils, This induction coils have a transmitter and receiver. You can charge your devices easily,  iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X, even in a thick case, except for if the case is made out of metal. If your case is made out of metal, it might have a negative effect on the transmitter’s ability to send the signal to your iPhone’s receiver.  Qi  Wireless Charger are very popular with lots of phones having the capability to use wireless power.

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Qi Wireless Drawback

The technology may sound quite sleek but like all things with advantages, there are also disadvantages. in these case inefficiency in charging is the Qi technology’s biggest drawback. When charging more than half of the energy is lost, either in the process of creating the magnetic field or the process of sending the energy from the transmitting to receiving coil. This is part of the reason why wireless charging is not as quick as wired.

Another disadvantage of wireless charging, the charging surface and the device itself must be in contact. This means that once you remove the device from that charging surface, it halts the process. To make wireless technology is very expensive too., so if your device doesn’t have it built in, you’ll likely have to pay a pretty penny to add it retroactively.

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More Advanced Technology

Wireless Laser Charging

Wireless Laser Charging

Fast forward to the present, we are now going to talk about long range wireless charging. Wireless technology is constantly being researched and such scholarly effort is bearing fruit already. Nikola Tesla’s dream of wireless electricity is becoming a dream.

Engineers at the University of Washington may now have developed the type of long-range smartphone wireless charging people are craving for, and just like the a lot of attention-grabbing tech innovations, it involves a laser. The result sounds something from a James Bond Movie.

The report of the study has been published in  the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable & Ubiquitous Technologies, the technology involves firing a narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter, which can deliver a charge to a smartphone sitting on the other side of the room. This is achieved by mounting a thin power cell to the back of a smartphone, which enables it to absorb power from the laser. According to the team, the laser tech is as efficient for charging as plugging your smartphone charger into a USB port.

“The advantage to our technique is that it can work at much longer ranges than the near field wireless charging solutions built into phones,” Vikram Iyer, a graduate student in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, told Digital Trends. “These chargers only work at ranges of a few centimeters. In contrast, our system works at ranges of a few meters or more. We chose lasers for our approach because they provide a focused beam of energy. Doing this with radio waves is much more inefficient because radio waves spread out significantly in space, requiring a very high transmit power to receive enough to charge a phone.”

The Abstract summarize it this way,  ” We demonstrate a novel laser-based wireless power delivery system that can charge mobile devices such as smartphones across a room. The key challenges in achieving this are multi-fold: delivering greater than a watt of power across the room, minimizing the exposure of the resulting high-power lasers to human tissue, and finally ensuring that the design meets the form-factor requirements of a smartphone and requires minimal instrumentation to the environment. This paper presents a novel, and to the best of our knowledge, the first design, implementation and evaluation of an end-to-end power delivery system that satisfies all the above requirements. Our results show that we can deliver more than 2 W at ranges of 4.3 m and 12.2 m for a smartphone (25 cm2) and table-top form factor (100 cm2) receiver respectively. Further, extensive characterization of our safety system shows that we can turn off our laser source much before a human moving at a maximum speed of 44 m/s can even enter the high-power laser beam area.”

 The Team does make safety a priority. These measures include the addition of a metal, flat-plate heat sink on the smartphone which will dissipates excess heat from the laser, as well as a method of shutting off the laser if a person moves into its path. This involves using “guard beams” which don’t deliver charge, but monitor movement, and can shut off the charging laser immediately if a human body is detected.
  Iyer added “What we’ve demonstrated here is a first proof of concept,”
Iyer continued. “We’re looking at methods of improving things like the range and form factor of our current prototype. As far as commercialization, we’re currently exploring options.”
There is a lot of prospect in the wireless technology industries. I will pay attention to more of the news and update in this field.
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