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September 15, 2021 6 min read
The world of technology and electronics is changing so quickly that it can feel like a rush. It seems like in a split second that the world went from a huge cell phone with an antenna to the electric vehicle and laptops that don't even have a USB port.
Manufacturers come out with new products at an exciting rate. We've come a long way from man taming fire to charging the apple watch on our nightstand.
Luckily, a lot of the tech does actually make our lives easier, especially for mobility and simplicity. One of the most hyped-up technologies in the past few years has been the ability of mobile devices to be charged wirelessly. Whether you are using a wireless charging case or some type of dock, the frequency of these changes is astounding.
Not only can we charge our phones wirelessly, in some cases, but we can also charge other devices from our phone (commonly known as reverse wireless charging).
In this article, we at Andar want to answer a few common questions about wireless charging to help you understand its advantages and disadvantages.
The history of wireless charging is actually much longer than you might expect, and it is attached to a man with an almost-mythical aura in the world of science and technology: Nikola Tesla. Tesla theorized about wireless power back in the 1890s through his use of what he named the Wardenclyffe Tower.
Through the use of the Earth as a medium for energy, he was able to power light bulbs outside of his residence in Colorado Springs. He was able to create a large magnetic field that turned power into an indirect electric current. The coils within the bulbs themselves converted this power into a direct current that then lit the bulb.
While this discovery was a long way from wirelessly charging your iPhone Pro Max, these principles are used in that process, as we will discuss later. Tesla (the man, not the company) did a lot of the legwork to understand the specifications on creating electromagnetic fields that transfer energy from one place to another.
While Tesla was the first to theorize and prove its ability to happen, the wireless power transfers from the tower to a bulb that he was able to create were never viable on a mass scale.
This was due to efficiency, size, cost, and a myriad of other factors. It was laid to rest as an option for a while before it was picked back up with the advent of smaller power sources and more efficient power storage.
Since Tesla’s tower has been shut down and preserved in Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory since 1937, we have taken its principle and miniaturized it in our phones and other hand-held devices.
Whether or not he would have been a fan of this (since his vision was that all of the Earth could be electrified through wireless power) is undecided. Still, he is credited as the father of wireless to this day.
Tech is such a huge part of our lives that sometimes we forget how astounding it is. So much of our lives have been spent attaching cords to plugs to outlets to devices to charge them, so a move to wireless charging and electromagnetic induction has been wild.
This section will be a quick and (hopefully) easy-to-understand explanation of how your phone charges by putting it on a small charging pad.
Like with the Tesla Tower, there is a small (usually copper) coil within your phone. This works as the main receptor of the indirect current being put out by the charging pad. These are called the transmitter and receiver coils.
The coil then transmits the electricity that it receives from the pad into a direct current that can be put into a storage facility (battery). This can even be done through our cases like the Aspen, so you can protect your phone while doing some charging, which is a huge plus.
Think of it as your smartphone and pad working together to create a space of high-electrified air in-between them. The coil then allows the phone to siphon the electricity from the air to your battery through the powers of the magnetic copper coil in the phone. The amount of power transfer that can occur is related to coil size.
This field of electrified air is only activated when the phone is placed there because, as the adage goes: it takes two to tango. The phone offers the direct current that activates the indirect current from the charging pad. What this means is that you can throw your phone down on a pad and get a charge.
Now that we understand the history of wireless power and have an understanding of how it works, it’s time to address the all-important question of “why?” This section will explain a few reasons you might want to consider switching to a wireless charging setup for your phone or other devices.
It's no secret that wireless charging can really clean up your work and home environments from the clutter of wires. Cluttered wires can have an adverse effect on brain clutter, along with just being annoying physically. Instead of having a charging cable out in the open, the wireless pad can have the cord tucked and wrapped to keep it clean-looking.
Also, without needing to plug cords in, there is less wear and tear on your tech. This is a great way to protect your pricey tech gadgets like AirPods or your iPhone.
Having a station for charging your phone can also help with a decrease in your usage and screen time. Especially at night, this could help your sleep schedule as you will not be able to stay on your phone while it charges.
Instead of constantly scrolling on social media sites at night, you can set your phone on the charger and get some rest.
While it may seem that charging wirelessly is a bit more work for your phone and battery, that will not have any impact on the long-term health of your phone battery.
Although the phone gets a little bit hotter while charging than when charging with a cord, this heat does not reach any dangerous levels that could pose a threat to your battery health.
It does charge your phone a little bit slower on average, but since most people charge their phones overnight, this is not too much of a negative. However, if you are looking for a quicker charge on the go, the wireless charging pads are a bit slower.
It is likely that with the speed of technological advancements that this disadvantage will be solved within a little bit. While it might prove to be a slight annoyance now, this problem will surely be corrected soon.
Another disadvantage is the fact that a wireless charger is not as easily taken on the go. Cords can easily be taken to your favorite coffee shop when you want to have a charge while you are working.
However, there are developments on computers with wireless charging pads built into them. This disadvantage might be taken care of soon.
Even with the cords being necessary for charging on the go, there are items that make this easier, such as our Cord Burrito, that can make it easier to handle these cords and keep them from getting tangled.
So, as we wait for advancements in wireless charging for on-the-go purposes, we still do not have to let the tangles of wires get us down.
Wireless charging is at the surface, so very simple. All you have to do is, place your device on a charging pad or stand and the next thing you know, it’s charged and ready to go with you on your next endeavor. However, when you look closely at the history and science behind wireless charging, there is a rich and vast world of facts and figures.
Technology is a cornerstone of advancements and improvements, and that’s why we make leather goods to protect our pieces: matching the beauty of innovation with the beauty of full grain leather.
How Nikola Tesla Planned To Use Earth For Wireless Power Transfer | Forbes
How Does Wireless Charging Work? The History and Future of the Tech | Daily Dot