Feature Article

August 14, 2014

Wireless Device Charging Could be Everywhere, if Qualcomm Has Anything to Say About It

Most smartphone users are troubled by the same issue: battery life. It seems that smartphones left away from their chargers will die only half a day later, which hampers the mobility of devices. The obvious solution at first seems to be to improve battery storage while simultaneously reducing device power consumption, which would be a long and expensive process. Seeking to solve this problem now as opposed to later, Qualcomm is aiming to make wireless charging stations ubiquitous, and installing them in tabletops, car headrests and even bookshelves.

“We want to eliminate battery anxiety,” says Mark Hunsicker, the senior director of wireless power solutions at Qualcomm. “You should no longer have to worry about turning Wi-Fi or Bluetooth off.” Innovations in microprocessors, displays and connectivity will be a long wait, and considering that each innovation would only solve a small part of the battery issue, it seems like a much more effective strategy would be to simply make charging devices easier in the meantime.

Over the past seven years, Qualcomm had developed a system that uses magnetic resonance technology to wirelessly charge several devices at once, including smartphones, tablets and even wearables. Users simply place their devices on top of the wireless charging pad, and magnetic resonance begins to charge the devices automatically.

Hunsicker now plans on rolling out these charging stations for retail sale by the fourth quarter of this year. Soon afterwards, Qualcomm plans on pairing up with auto manufacturers and furniture companies to install the platforms within their products. Ultimately, this will eliminate the need for tangled cords that clutter up power outlets, leaving customers with easy ways to charge their devices and not worry about keeping the battery alive.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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