Wireless charging is cool but hardly all that modern; it’s been around for over a hundred years. It isn’t my favourite feature of the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, but it’s definitely in the top three. I have five Qi chargers dotted around the house so I’m rarely far from one. The greatest strength of wireless charging comes from putting the device down on the plate at the end of a day without having to line up the charger lead with a port. It isn’t perfect: the Nexus 5 uses Qi (pronounced “chee”) charging, which needs to be lined up close to the centre of the magnetic inductive coil. Yes, you can get some Qi chargers that auto-line up the coil (and I have one of those) but you still need to put the device in approximately the right position. There’s huge potential in wireless power transmission such as the in transport sector (think of the potential for electric trains or even card). But for now, let’s concentrate on wireless charging for our mobile and portable devices; ‘phones, tablets, laptops or Chromebooks.
The Qi wireless charging standard is owned by the Wireless Power Consortium and has already gained some traction in the market. A competitor standard, Rezence, is backed by the Alliance for Wireless Power, which is not compatible with Qi charging. Intel are already working on integrating Rezence technology into their products and processors and what we have here is their wireless charger bowl. This is about the size of a fruit bowl and the idea is that you’ll put your devices into here to, well, recharge. You won’t have to align them with sensors, you just put the devices into the bowl and collect them later. It sounds too good to be true, right? Perhaps. Intel have said that their charger bowl will be out in the next few weeks. Rezence is capable of charging multiple devices and is immune to paper or other small objects touching the surface of the bowl.
This technology has several advantages over and above Qi but is at least a couple of years behind. If Rezence takes off and manufacturers start incorporating the technology into handsets, tablets, smartwatches, headsets indeed all manner of products, and if say Starbucks and Apple were to
invent introduce Rezence into their next miracle ‘phone, maybe we’ll see widescale adoption. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the technology is still imperfect but it’s improving all of the time. Do you use a wireless charger around the home or could you? Let us know in the comments below.