According to a patent application from Samsung published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the South Korean OEM might be working on a new wireless charging pad capable of recharging devices using either inductive or resonant wireless charging, and switch between these two technologies on a case-by-case basis. Similar to Apple’s recent AirPower wireless charging pad, Samsung’s solution would allow users to recharge the batteries on their smartphone and wearable device simultaneously without having to worry about any wires getting in the way.
Although Samsung has been offering mobile wireless charging solutions for a few years now, the company has yet to create a single wireless charging pad that can recharge batteries using both inductive and resonant wireless charging. This might change in the future as the company has now filed to patent a product using exactly this kind of technology. The wireless charging pad in question appears to be equipped with one magnetic resonance coil and two magnetic induction coils, in addition to being capable of enabling and switching between the appropriate wireless charging technologies according to the type of device being placed on the pad. This allows for scenarios such as simultaneously charging a smartphone through magnetic induction and a smartwatch through magnetic resonance. It’s important to note that these two technologies work separately and cannot be used together to recharge a single device. Additionally, the charging pad should support the Qi standard, the patent application suggests.
As a rule of thumb, magnetic induction wireless charging requires a compatible device – such as a smartphone – to be placed directly on the charging pad, whereas magnetic resonance technology can recharge a device in its close proximity by generating a magnetic field. As a result, magnetic induction coils can generally transfer electrical current faster and more efficiently than magnetic resonance coils but the latter method does not require the device to make direct contact with the charging pad. Evidently, this can be a great advantage for wearable devices like smartwatches whose batteries have a smaller capacity by default, especially in cases where the wristband would prevent the back of the wearable to make direct contact with the pad. As always, there’s no guarantee that Samsung will commercialize this dual wireless charging solution but seeing how its main rival already announced a similar technology, it may opt to follow suit in the near future.