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Roundup: Wireless charging options for Apple's iPhone

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Apple holds a bevy of patents on methods for broadcasting power to devices wirelessly, but the technology has yet to make its way into a shipping product from Cupertino. For anxious cord cutters, AppleInsider rounded up some of the most promising third-party solutions.

Duracell Powermat


Duracell Powermat



The Duracell Powermat system is the most popular standalone implementation of Powermat's inductive charging technology, which is quickly gaining popularity. Heavily-trafficked places like Chicago's O'Hare airport and New York City's Madison Square Garden have added Powermat support, and General Motors will integrate the technology --?first introduced in Chevrolet's Volt --?into more members of its fleet in 2014.

Duracell's system consists of two parts: the AccessCase iPhone case with an inductive coil that sits just below the device's Lightning port and the Powermat itself, which comes in three sizes to accommodate charging one, two, or three devices at once. The cases, created by famed designer Yves Behar, add approximately 0.5 inches to the height of an iPhone 5 or 5s, though they weigh just 1.05 ounces, and a two-part design allows access to the Lightning port even with the case on.

After ensconcing your iPhone in the AccessCase, Duracell says that their system will charge "at speeds comparable to wired charging." All Powermat-based systems are interoperable with one another, so Duracell's case will also allow you to wirelessly top up your battery if you find yourself waiting for a delayed flight in the departures lounge at Chicago O'Hare or attending a Knicks game.

Duracell's AccessCase is available in black or white for $49.99 and a single-device Powermat is priced at $39.99. Duracell also sells external batteries and battery cases, similar to Mophie's popular Powerstation and Juicepack lines, that work with Powermat.

iQi

iQi Mobile



Powermat's main competition for wireless charging ubiquity is the Qi standard, backed by a diverse array of companies from semiconductor giant Qualcomm to mobile device makers like Sony and Nokia. Like Powermat, Qi stations are beginning to crop up at major airports, like New York's John F. Kennedy International, while national coffee chain The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is adding Qi charging hotspots in stores. Qi is also the technology used by Google and Samsung for the wireless charging functionality in their flagship handsets.

The iQi Mobile charger is a thin Qi receiver designed to be small enough to slip underneath a soft iPhone or iPod touch case. A flexible ribbon cable runs from the iQi to a Lightning connector, allowing the receiver to remain plugged in when folded behind the device.

At its thickest point --?the Lightning connector --?the iQi is just 1.4 millimeters thick, with the bulk of the receiver coming in at less than 1 millimeter. The iQi's backers say that users who already shroud their device in a soft case will note a barely perceptible difference.

One issue with the iQi is lack of access to the Lightning port once the device is installed?--?though we haven't yet been able to test the iQi, unplugging it without removing the receiver from the case appears to be a daunting task that could potentially damage the iQi thanks to the ribbon cable's thin design.

The iQi is a Qi receiver only, meaning that a transceiver -- the base station half of an inductive charging duo -- must be purchased separately. Like Powermat, Qi devices are interoperable, so any Qi transceiver will work with the iQi.

The iQi team is funding manufacturing through a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo which runs until Dec. 30. An iQi Mobile receiver and case package sits at the $25 reward level, and backers can add a transceiver to the set for $65. Larger packages with additional receivers and transceivers are also available.

Nokia DT-900


Mix-and-match



Because the Wireless Power Consortium, the standards body in charge of certifying Qi devices, has done well in ensuring device interoperability, purchasing receivers and transceivers from different brands is a low-risk proposition for consumers who wish to do so for cost, location, or aesthetic reasons.

Nokia's DT-900 wireless charging plate is a well-reviewed Qi transceiver wrapped in an attractive package that matches the company's Lumia series of devices, though its good looks come at a premium --?the device's $54.99 price tag is much more expensive than competing offerings from the likes of Lerway and RAVPower.

Qi-enabled cases hover around the $20 mark, with Evotouch and Choetech providing some of the most popular units.

Consumers who prefer the Powermat standard have essentially one choice --?Duracell's products --?for home use. Powermat's status as a commercial technology, as opposed to Qi's standing as an international standard, has restricted the third-party market.
post #2 of 57
Inductive charging is a solution in search of a problem.

There's not much convenience in wireless charging so long as it requires 1) a charging pad that takes up precious desktop/table space and 2) a power cord for the charging pad. If you must have something plugged into your computer and that something must take up space on your desk for the device to charge on - well you've just described a charging dock, with the only convenience being the ability to place the device on top of the charger instead of sliding it into a cradle. Not exactly a showstopper feature.

For a wireless charging solution to truly make sense, it would have to be seamless and invisible. One possibility is that the technology becomes so ubiquitous and inexpensive that it can be built into a variety of furniture. A second possibility is that the technology advances to the point where a single power transmitter in the home can be designed to charge devices several feet away in a truly wirelessly fashion without the need for a charging pad or station (not sure if the physics support this.)

At the moment, though, everyone's just jumping on a technology that sounds really cool without really providing any convenience for the user. I suspect this is a primary reason why Apple has yet to implement the feature in any of their products.
post #3 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Inductive charging is a solution in search of a problem.

There's not much convenience in wireless charging so long as it requires 1) a charging pad that takes up precious desktop/table space and 2) a power cord for the charging pad. If you must have something plugged into your computer and that something must take up space on your desk for the device to charge on - well you've just described a charging dock, with the only convenience being the ability to place the device on top of the charger instead of sliding it into a cradle. Not exactly a showstopper feature.

For a wireless charging solution to truly make sense, it would have to be seamless and invisible. One possibility is that the technology becomes so ubiquitous and inexpensive that it can be built into a variety of furniture. A second possibility is that the technology advances to the point where a single power transmitter in the home can be designed to charge devices several feet away in a truly wirelessly fashion without the need for a charging pad or station (not sure if the physics support this.)

At the moment, though, everyone's just jumping on a technology that sounds really cool without really providing any convenience for the user. I suspect this is a primary reason why Apple has yet to implement the feature in any of their products.
 

 

 

I agree, although I would not go so far as what you suggested would work. Using AW4P, or Rezenze, which uses magnetic resonance, you would not have "several feet" of charging, but you would get a pad which can charge multiple devices at once, without the alignment needed for Qi charging, and also a bit more distance allowed than Qi (which would allow it to be built invisible into furniture).

 

Another main advantage of wireless charging is the fact the device could potentially be without any connectors. This will allow easier water-resistance (a feature I quite like from the Sony phones/tablets) and ofcourse will save some space on the internals (note, the charging will take up some more space, not sure what the net effect will be)

post #4 of 57
@freediverx

I disagree.. having used it.. It's a godsend not having to plug and unplug, loose cables falling behind a desk or night stand. For me, since I use my phone as my alarm, not having to fumble in morning or at night with cables is really very nice!

It wasn't searching for a problem, it solved a problem for me. You get wear and tear and it allows you to setup base stations at home, work, etc w/o having to think twice if the cable is in or worried about breaking the connector off (I've done twice now..)

For me it simplifies my life.

As for the whole furniture thing, thats just silly. wow..
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post
 

 

 

I agree, although I would not go so far as what you suggested would work. Using AW4P, or Rezenze, which uses magnetic resonance, you would not have "several feet" of charging, but you would get a pad which can charge multiple devices at once, without the alignment needed for Qi charging, and also a bit more distance allowed than Qi (which would allow it to be built invisible into furniture).

 

Another main advantage of wireless charging is the fact the device could potentially be without any connectors. This will allow easier water-resistance (a feature I quite like from the Sony phones/tablets) and ofcourse will save some space on the internals (note, the charging will take up some more space, not sure what the net effect will be)

 

While devices that can charge without the need for power connectors sounds great - and precisely the sort of feature Apple would drool over - the magic would fail the moment you need to charge the device in your car, at the office or anywhere else away from home. You will still need power connectors until/unless some standardized wireless charging technology becomes ubiquitous.

 

Now if Apple could come up with a wireless travel charger that wasn't too much bigger than today's chargers, that would be amazing.

 

 

 

Inductive charging...

"Prior to the release of the iPhone 5, rumors circulated that Apple would bring wireless charging to bear in that handset, but Apple marketing exec Phil Schiller said after the unveiling that the perceived convenience of such systems was questionable, since charging mats would still need to be plugged into an outlet.

In September, an Apple patent application emerged demonstrating a "realistic and practical approach to wireless power, providing over-the-air electricity to low-power devices within a distance of one meter.

 
 
 
Apple investigates “near field” charging…
"In this way, a realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring useable amounts of power over distances suitable for limited applications can be realized,”
 
 

Edited by freediverx - 12/14/13 at 11:49am
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post

As for the whole furniture thing, thats just silly. wow..

 

Yeah I guess you're right. Why would anyone ever design furniture with built-in power? No one would want or use such a silly feature.

 

 

 

post #7 of 57
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Yeah I guess you're right. Why would anyone ever design furniture with built-in power? No one would want or use such a silly feature.

 

And what do all of those have in common? They’re hideous.

 

Know what a real solution is? Instead of plugs in the wall, replace the sockets with a wireless power transmitter. BOOM DONE HOLY COW SO DIFFICULT. It’s not like the power works over 6 feet away, anyway.

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post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

And what do all of those have in common? They’re hideous.

 

Know what a real solution is? Instead of plugs in the wall, replace the sockets with a wireless power transmitter. BOOM DONE HOLY COW SO DIFFICULT. It’s not like the power works over 6 feet away, anyway.

 

Two of those examples hide from view completely when not in use, which means they're no longer "hideous".

 

The point, which you missed, is that there is a demand and a market for furniture with integrated power solutions. We're talking office furniture, not necessarily your dining room table. And since there's already a healthy market for this sort of thing, it makes sense that at some point in the future we might see furniture with built in near field charging - so you don't need one of these "hideous" things on your desk:

 

 

That is, unless someone comes up with truly wireless charging, as described in Apple's patent application.

post #9 of 57

I've never understood why people want wireless charging.  I just don't get why it's such a difficult task to plug in the Lightning Connector once every how many days?  I CAN see it as being useful at places like the ones mentioned in the article, airports, sports arenas and such.  That I get.

post #10 of 57
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Two of those examples hide from view completely when not in use, which means they're no longer "hideous".

 

Completely, huh. I don’t see a single one that does that. The aesthetic is broken in all of them.

 
The point, which you missed, is that there is a demand and a market for furniture with integrated power solutions.

 

Because wireless power doesn’t exist. No one actually wants their furniture bloated by this stuff.

 

I’m sure you’d say that people really want furniture with Ethernet and RJ-45 ports in them were this 1999.

 
…furniture with built in near field charging

 

Again, you don’t need pointless complexity, cost inflation, and discomfort with furniture if you have real wireless power.

 

Leave the electricity in the walls where it belongs. Swap plugs for transmitters. It’s REALLY not that hard. No one wants to plug in their table just to have a few feet of charging radius for their phone.

 

Written in TextEdit.

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post #11 of 57
I agree that the wireless charging station just is an expensive & redundant docking station - and it can't even transfer or sync files!

BTW Do NOT put your wallet on one of those charging stations - it's inductive (meaning magnetic current) and can erase your credit card mag strips with ease...

Oh and to the guy that wants the wireless charging at a distance (so Robert Heinlein btw)... Yes they could make one but it would also heat / cook you or at least cause cancer quickly. Strong Magnetic / Inductive fields cause cellular and blood flow (your blood has iron in it folks) issues... No thank you!
post #12 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And what do all of those have in common? They’re hideous.

 

Know what a real solution is? Instead of plugs in the wall, replace the sockets with a wireless power transmitter. BOOM DONE HOLY COW SO DIFFICULT.

 


Where's Nikola when you really need him, eh?
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Byars View Post

I agree that the wireless charging station just is an expensive & redundant docking station - and it can't even transfer or sync files!

BTW Do NOT put your wallet on one of those charging stations - it's inductive (meaning magnetic current) and can erase your credit card mag strips with ease...

Oh and to the guy that wants the wireless charging at a distance (so Robert Heinlein btw)... Yes they could make one but it would also heat / cook you or at least cause cancer quickly. Strong Magnetic / Inductive fields cause cellular and blood flow (your blood has iron in it folks) issues... No thank you!

 

Ouch.  I didn't even think about the blood issue.  That doesn't sound fun AT ALL! :)

post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Ouch.  I didn't even think about the blood issue.  That doesn't sound fun AT ALL! 1smile.gif

I think there are chargers that first detect the proper item before charging. I suppose these could be made more intelligent by directing current to various smaller cells on the charging surface so that keys, wallets, jewelry, etc. would feel its wrath.

There is a recent rumour (I don't think AI has covered it) of an Apple smartphone that will have inductive charging. I think this makes sense for a watch that can't go weeks, months or years without charging. Even if uses some sort of kinetic movement to generate power I highly doubt power consumption for a proper smart watch is low enough for this to be more than a small supplemental offering. I believe the rumour stated it would be a 100 mAh, which is less than the Pebble's battery at 130 mAh but much less than those feature phones with wrist straps, like the Galaxy Gear.
Edited by SolipsismX - 12/14/13 at 9:26pm

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post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

And what do all of those have in common? They’re hideous.

 

Know what a real solution is? Instead of plugs in the wall, replace the sockets with a wireless power transmitter. BOOM DONE HOLY COW SO DIFFICULT. It’s not like the power works over 6 feet away, anyway.

To do that the transmitter needs to be extremely powerful. Not to mention anything made of similar metal within that area will also likely be heated and/or catch fire.

post #16 of 57

And never mind the efficiency (or lack thereof) of an inductive charging device.  Lots of energy will just be broadcast out to dissipate unused in the environment.

post #17 of 57
Power conduits can go wherever they are most convenient. It is up to the design capabilities of the implementor to make them as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Inductive charging is a solution in search of a problem.

There's not much convenience in wireless charging so long as it requires 1) a charging pad that takes up precious desktop/table space and 2) a power cord for the charging pad. If you must have something plugged into your computer and that something must take up space on your desk for the device to charge on - well you've just described a charging dock, with the only convenience being the ability to place the device on top of the charger instead of sliding it into a cradle. Not exactly a showstopper feature.

For a wireless charging solution to truly make sense, it would have to be seamless and invisible. One possibility is that the technology becomes so ubiquitous and inexpensive that it can be built into a variety of furniture. A second possibility is that the technology advances to the point where a single power transmitter in the home can be designed to charge devices several feet away in a truly wirelessly fashion without the need for a charging pad or station (not sure if the physics support this.)

At the moment, though, everyone's just jumping on a technology that sounds really cool without really providing any convenience for the user. I suspect this is a primary reason why Apple has yet to implement the feature in any of their products.

Wireless charging brings more upsides than downsides. Its implementation would be a plus nonetheless. You gain a few seconds every time you plug and unplug the phone. Just like touchID makes unlocking seamless. When you put your phone somewhere you are already using some 'precious space' and I'd rather put the phone on its own charging station instead of having to put a cloth under it like I do to avoid scratched.
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

I've never understood why people want wireless charging.  I just don't get why it's such a difficult task to plug in the Lightning Connector once every how many days?  I CAN see it as being useful at places like the ones mentioned in the article, airports, sports arenas and such.  That I get.

You don't own an iPhone. The battery is fine but I still need to charge it daily.
You could have said the same thing about touchID.
post #20 of 57
I saw this cool video where you can use the iqi charger to charge your phone underwater

post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

Wireless charging brings more upsides than downsides. Its implementation would be a plus nonetheless. You gain a few seconds every time you plug and unplug the phone. Just like touchID makes unlocking seamless. When you put your phone somewhere you are already using some 'precious space' and I'd rather put the phone on its own charging station instead of having to put a cloth under it like I do to avoid scratched.

It depends on what you're changing. I'd say that wireless charging for a notebook would have more downsides than upsides with the known state of the art, but with a wrist worn device that has an extremely small battery I'd say it could possibly have more upsides. For a phone, I also think it could bring more upsides but I also think how inductive charging is achieved still needs to be tweaked to make it as convenient as TouchID is to unlocking your phone quickly.

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post #22 of 57
I have an HTC DNA that came with wireless charging capability and I find it very convenient to use. One thing I didn't realize at first is that the wireless charging works through the case I have on it. I have also started seeing wireless charging pads at Airports and other areas which is a great way to get a power boost without having to carry a cable around.

However, I will admit, a dock is also a reasonable solution. Although I still think wireless charging is more convenient/better. Plus, for a dock to work, there has to be a hole in your case, if you use one, which in theory reduces protection.

That being said, I don't think I would ever add wireless charging via a case if my phone didn't come with the feature built-in. To be really useful, it really has to be built-in to the phone.

For me, wireless charging is one of those features that is nice to have but not a deal breaker when deciding on a phone.

-kpluck

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post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

I have an HTC DNA that came with wireless charging capability and I find it very convenient to use. One thing I didn't realize at first is that the wireless charging works through the case I have on it. I have also started seeing wireless charging pads at Airports and other areas which is a great way to get a power boost without having to carry a cable around.

However, I will admit, a dock is also a reasonable solution. Although I still think wireless charging is more convenient/better. Plus, for a dock to work, there has to be a hole in your case, if you use one, which in theory reduces protection.

That being said, I don't think I would ever add wireless charging via a case if my phone didn't come with the feature built-in. To be really useful, it really has to be built-in to the phone.

For me, wireless charging is one of those features that is nice to have but not a deal breaker when deciding on a phone.

-kpluck

Apple could use a hybrid design between a dock and wireless charging. The phone could be placed upright in the dock as usual but instead of a Lightning connector in the base of the dock it just sets in shallow cavity leaning against the backing plate that introduces the charge.

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post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post


You don't own an iPhone. The battery is fine but I still need to charge it daily.
You could have said the same thing about touchID.

 

I've owned an iPhone, an iPhone 3GS, an iPhone 4S, an iPhone 5, and now own an iPhone 5S.  So, sorry to burst your bubble on that one.

 

In the past couple of years I haven't been using my phone nearly as much as I used to.  I rarely need to charge it every day. 

post #25 of 57
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post
To do that the transmitter needs to be extremely powerful. Not to mention anything made of similar metal within that area will also likely be heated and/or catch fire.

 

Yeah, not really. All tests show otherwise.

 

Originally Posted by bonobob View Post
And never mind the efficiency (or lack thereof) of an inductive charging device.  Lots of energy will just be broadcast out to dissipate unused in the environment.

 

Radio and TV do that; you don’t see anyone whining about them.

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post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yeah, not really. All tests show otherwise.

Radio and TV do that; you don’t see anyone whining about them.
[/quote]

Transmitting a radio signal and transmitting power for a device are very different types of wireless transmissions. it would be great if your WiFi router could safely power your iDevices and Macs but we're simply not there and may never be in our lifetimes.

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post #27 of 57
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
it would be great if your WiFi router could safely power your iDevices and Macs but we're simply not there and may never be in our lifetimes.

 

Hmm. What am I misunderstanding here, then?

 

 

They said the same thing about room temperature superconductors, too. Now we’ve come up with one that should superconduct at 212F! Huddler won’t let me type the degrees symbol.

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post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Hmm. What am I misunderstanding here, then?

video: www.youtube.com/embed/MgBYQh4zC2Y

They said the same thing about room temperature superconductors, too. Now we’ve come up with one that should superconduct at 212F! Huddler won’t let me type the degrees symbol.

What I'm seeing is a very large device that creates an extremely shortrange magnetic field that appears to be directional (and my limited knowledge of magnetic fields would say it's bi-directional to the front and back of the square transmitter). Nothing in that video shows that anything has been solved that would all wireless power to work in the same longrnge, omni-directional way as radio and TV broadcasts.

Note that's we've seen this before with Nikoli Tesla, who is breifly mentioned in the video; this just looks like a very minor advancement due to general advancements in technology that makes powering a cellphone and TV look more impressive.

Some questions that come to mind:
  • What is the power needed for a 60W lightbulb compared to that small LCD TV and a cellphone?
  • How much power was being pushed through the transmitter to make it work?
  • How much energy was lost due to it being wireless over being wired?
  • Does the transmitter not transmit power when the TV is off, the cellphone is full, or there is nothing in its path, the same way that PSUs for devices will not keep using power when there is nothing to power?

I think the last two are especially important for a company like Apple. Even if they had a way to increase the field to fit the WiFi range, make it fit inside a router, keep the field from causing any interference, get FCC approval (i.e.: no health risks), find a way to have it direct various levels of power to specific devices in relation to their location on a Cartesian coordinate system with the power device being (0,0,0) they still need to have the power efficiency be excellent and devices talk back to the main device to say, "Hey, I'm full."

That's why I think it's more likely we'll see something that 1) requires the item to rest against it so the magnetic field is very small, and 2) be an item, like a wearable computer, that has a very, very small battery.

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post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yeah, not really. All tests show otherwise.

Radio and TV do that; you don’t see anyone whining about them.
[/quote]

Transmitting a radio signal and transmitting power for a device are very different types of wireless transmissions. it would be great if your WiFi router could safely power your iDevices and Macs but we're simply not there and may never be in our lifetimes.

 

These confusions always seem to arise when wireless power transmission gets discussed. Virtually all proposed solutions are now based on near-field resonant coupling which, unlike signal transmission, suffers little from radiative losses and does not pose a health hazard. The near-field aspect does limit the effective range to substantially less than one wavelength; as the separation increases the transfer rate drops but mostly not to radiative loss, which remains low.

post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It depends on what you're changing. I'd say that wireless charging for a notebook would have more downsides than upsides with the known state of the art, but with a wrist worn device that has an extremely small battery I'd say it could possibly have more upsides. For a phone, I also think it could bring more upsides but I also think how inductive charging is achieved still needs to be tweaked to make it as convenient as TouchID is to unlocking your phone quickly.

It works quite well for phones, IMHO. At least for me.

I'm habitual person, I usually put phone on same spot over night (when at home, of course).

So right now, I have charging pad there. It saves the spot for the phone (otherwise my wife might decide to put something else there).

It is reasonably efficient - if I recall correctly, Lumia 920 will fully charge through cable in something like 2:15, and from pad in something like 2:45.

Charger is "smart", it will not turn on for any incompatible object dropped on it. It detects chargeable device somehow. Also in case of Lumia phone, it will also turn charger off when phone is fully charged. I've read somewhere that it will not turn charging back on rigt after device's battery starts discharging, story was that it will let charge drop 5 or 10% before it starts charging again. I cannot confirm that, but in my scenario - putting phone on pad before going to sleep, when I pick it up in the morning it is not warm and charger light is off, meaning it wasn't charging at least some time before I take it.

It is not something one can't live without, but it is nicely convenient. Pad is easy to locate in the dark, for example. Since I'm usually going to bed after my other half, I don't have to turn lights and risk waking her up. You can do it single-handed (makes it easier to grab phone from the night table, do something and drop it back to keep charging). Etc etc.

Me happy.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Apple could use a hybrid design between a dock and wireless charging. The phone could be placed upright in the dock as usual but instead of a Lightning connector in the base of the dock it just sets in shallow cavity leaning against the backing plate that introduces the charge.

Something like this, basically:

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Something like this, basically:

[image]

I was picturing something more elegant but essentially yes.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Hmm. What am I misunderstanding here, then?

 

 

 

They said the same thing about room temperature superconductors, too. Now we’ve come up with one that should superconduct at 212F! Huddler won’t let me type the degrees symbol.

It's possible that at some point wall outlets will go the way of corded telephones and land lines in general, but right now it remains horribly inefficient. That's basically what I hate about it. I have a tendency to dislike things that are significantly less efficient than what they replace for the purpose of minor convenience. For what it's worth, I hate excessive packaging too, disposable coffee cups, etc. There are many things I try to avoid. Inductive charging is just particularly bad due to the number of devices it could spread across before it's really ready. I don't mean in regards to Apple specifically, basically any electronics company.

post #34 of 57

Why use complex wireless charge? Why not simple thing like this one?

post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I was picturing something more elegant but essentially yes.

My understanding is that charging pad must have substantial surface area to achieve efficient charging, so you will not see anything petite like standard iPhone dock... not with current technology, at least.

Outside of size, I think it looks fine.

http://www.nokia.com/nz-en/accessories/accessory/dt-910/
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

My understanding is that charging pad must have substantial surface area to achieve efficient charging, so you will not see anything petite like standard iPhone dock... not with current technology, at least.

Outside of size, I think it looks fine.

http://www.nokia.com/nz-en/accessories/accessory/dt-910/

I'm fine with a backing plate and my original comment even suggested one. I just think the Nokia charging dock is ugly. I'd like to see something that doesn't look like multiple units and looks good by itself.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

While devices that can charge without the need for power connectors sounds great - and precisely the sort of feature Apple would drool over - the magic would fail the moment you need to charge the device in your car, at the office or anywhere else away from home. You will still need power connectors until/unless some standardized wireless charging technology becomes ubiquitous.

For the car just get a phone holder that supports wireless charging, they are available, and they work well.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One issue with the iQi is lack of access to the Lightning port once the device is installed

 

Does the Duracell Powermat have the same issue?  This was not addressed in the article, thus making the comparison seem unfair.


Edited by Haggar - 12/16/13 at 11:17am
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm fine with a backing plate and my original comment even suggested one. I just think the Nokia charging dock is ugly. I'd like to see something that doesn't look like multiple units and looks good by itself.

It is true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Inductive charging is a solution in search of a problem.

There's not much convenience in wireless charging so long as it requires 1) a charging pad that takes up precious desktop/table space and 2) a power cord for the charging pad. If you must have something plugged into your computer and that something must take up space on your desk for the device to charge on - well you've just described a charging dock, with the only convenience being the ability to place the device on top of the charger instead of sliding it into a cradle. Not exactly a showstopper feature.

For a wireless charging solution to truly make sense, it would have to be seamless and invisible. One possibility is that the technology becomes so ubiquitous and inexpensive that it can be built into a variety of furniture. A second possibility is that the technology advances to the point where a single power transmitter in the home can be designed to charge devices several feet away in a truly wirelessly fashion without the need for a charging pad or station (not sure if the physics support this.)

At the moment, though, everyone's just jumping on a technology that sounds really cool without really providing any convenience for the user. I suspect this is a primary reason why Apple has yet to implement the feature in any of their products.

 

When I think of having a wireless charging station, I immediately think of one use case, which isn't the "computer connected" scenario that you described.  I wouldn't mind having a charging pad on my nightstand, where I can just lay my iPhone down as I crawl into bed and pick it up fully charged when I roll back out of it.  Seems convenient enough to me, and in my opinion is preferable to having a lightning cord dangling there, not to mention the "tetheredness" of the phone itself should I need to access it in the middle of the night.  If it didn't cost an arm and a leg, I would be interested.  But I won't buy one yet, because the two choices above either involve losing access to my lightning port or attaching a special case that seems unappealing.  So I'm not a buyer yet.

 

Thompson

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