CNET First Look
2 ways your phone's wireless charger will improveHow it'll become faster and even more convenient to use.
I absolutely love wireless charging. It's so convenient, you can put down your phone and then pick it up again without having to fumble around for a cable. However, even though it's really convenient, it's not exactly that fast. In fact the fastest wireless charger still lags behind the fastest cable. However, there are advances to the technology that will make wireless charging in the future both fast and convenient. Right now, compatible Samsung and LG phones charge at 15 watts and Apple's new iPhone's charge at 7.5 watts. Recently a company called Power Mac created a wireless charging standard that can power phones, and one day laptops, with 40 watts of energy. Energy. That will more than double today's speeds, but it's not gonna happen overnight. Device makers still have to make the gadgets compatible to the new technology. So we're gonna start seeing speeds ramping up in the next year, two years, and so on. The second development won't require you to place your phone on a pad at all. Over the air or distance charging is the ultimate Convenience. Because your battery reserves can get a top up when the device is just laying on the counter or even in your hands. Over the air charging uses radio frequencies and has to be declared safe by the FCC. One company, Energis, has done this with a transmitter that will charge your phone at two or three feet away. It's also working on a longer range charger that will reach your phone from up to 15 feet away. That one has not cleared the FCC quite yet. Wireless charging has been built into phones and accessories like charging cases for years. So why is this only happening now? Two reasons really. One is that Apple's support for wireless charging is starting to give the limelight in critical mass that it really needs to develop. The second is that rivalries between two standards our met in Qi have resolved, so now that Qi is the single standard, we should see these advancements picking up the pace and, in the near future, you might not have to unpack that charger cable at all.