Do you have a drawer at home full of cords? The challenge is that while the wireless charging market is in demand, some strides still need to be made in terms of functionality. According to IHS, the wireless power market is estimated to grow to one billion charging units by 2020. It’s not a new concept, and early adoption was seen with the electronic toothbrushes.
In 2017, Disney Research showcased the ability to charge your device while the receiver is across the room, similar to how WiFi works on a computer. Apple tried to enter the marketplace awhile back, but because of their charging needs, the phones got too hot. Also, the length of time it took to charge the device was originally an issue.
The way charging typically works is that there is a charging dock that has a transmitting coil that induces current into a receiver coil on your smart device that in turn charges that battery. Early products required the exact positioning of the device on the charger to work, but then ‘free positioning’ became a popular concept in charging. The key to the first ‘free positioning’ concepts was the ability to have a transmittable back surface on the device. Some smartphones have a surface made of glass which helped, but the obvious drawback is when you drop your phone. The industry continues to struggle with how to charge devices at a distance.
It is easy to imagine a world where wireless charging is available everywhere from hotels to airports. Some have even imagined roads embedded with wireless charging to support electric cars.
Different solutions have hit the market from chargeable phone cases to Disney’s vision of wireless charging hotspots. Companies like Logitech and Corsair are currently selling wireless charging technology that is transmitted via a mouse pad. Also, Apple recently re-entered the market in submitting a patent that shows how devices can transmit wireless power to nearby smart devices without using a wireless charging mat but instead just wirelessly connecting to your home computer.
This year could be a hot patent space for companies trying to find their foothold in this future market.
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