If you’re familiar with smartphones and smartwatches, then you probably also know about Qi wireless charging; it’s mostly a form of inductive charging that transfers electricity via a magnetic field at short distances, typically within just a few millimeters.
Wireless charging is neat, but the proximity required for it to work still makes it feel like you’re being tethered to a charger. Full-scale efforts are in the works to make wireless charging genuinely wireless, and this means charging your handset from a farther distance, be it 3 feet or 15 feet away from the charging source.
One idea is to transmit electricity over Wi-Fi or another type of another wireless signal source. The receiving device would then have something called rectenna installed inside of it, which would pick up the signal and receive power from the wireless signal. Unfortunately, most wireless signals are relatively low-power, and this would result in an insanely slow charge.
That’s not to say progress isn’t being made, however. Some companies have already developed some seriously captivating proof of concepts, but said ideas are far from consumer-ready, and still need approval from the FCC, among other things.
Given just how often we seem to charge our mobile devices, true wireless charging promises to keep us connected for longer without necessitating that we sit near a power outlet. That said, it’ll be exciting when this technology finally matures from its juvenile stages and becomes the standard for charging in the future.