Inductive charging is a way of using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between two objects. The technology was first described by Nikola Tesla at the turn of the century.
The idea is fairly simple. One of the objects is a charging station which has a primary coil in it. That coil becomes an inductive coupling with another inductive coupling within the second device, forming a transformer of sorts. Energy passes from the charging station through the coils to the battery in the receiving device raising the potential of the device.
In the case of a mobile device, say your smartphone, the device either contains an inductive coil or you buy a replacement cover for it that contains the inductive coil that connects to the battery within the device. When the phone is placed on the charging station, the battery recharges.
It’s entirely possible to create a large charging station that can charge multiple devices at a time. Thus you can build a coffee table that also serves as a charging station. The table now has the dual function of a place to sit your coffee cup as your mobile device recharges. No more searching for charging adapters or discovering that your adapter no longer works because the wires became damaged.
Some manufacturers have models that are ready for inductive charging. Those usually come with their own charging stations which can be used with other devices that are ready for inductive charging, whether they were made that way or if you are using a replacement cover as long as the station and device is Qi (pronounced chee) certified.
Besides WiFi, I can envision coffee shops advertising that they have Qi charging stations as a differentiator. I think I’ll go out and get my inductive cover now.
(Image Credit – Bing Images )
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