How a Wireless Charger Works, and How Cool It Can Become

How a Wireless Charger Works, and How Cool It Can Become


The new age of technology is amazing, isn’t
it? Information has never been as accessible as
it is now; games, music, videos – all kind of things are in your pocket at any time. It’s even kinda scary how attached we can
become to our smartphones. When the battery runs out, it’s nerve-racking,
but unfortunately, it happens. The more functions our devices provide, the
more power they need, and they’re hungrier than hungry hippos at this point! That’s why charging technology is all the
rage now, and the new big thing is wireless charging. It’s just too convenient not to be. Even though we’re just now seeing this technology
take off, the basics of how it works were discovered not long after we started to understand
what electricity is. Near the end of the 19th century, engineering
mastermind Nikola Tesla showed that two powerful magnetic fields can slightly transfer energy
between their sources when they interfere with each other. At that time, the scientific world found nothing
more in it than perhaps just a cool party trick, even if it showed some newly discovered
things about electricity. But what do you know – this trick found
its use more than a hundred years later! Electromagnetic force is one of the fundamental
forces in physics. Just break down the word, and you’ll have
an idea: electricity and magnetism! Basically, every object with enough power
is a potential source of an electromagnetic field. When you switch on a lightbulb, it shines
– you can see that! But what you can’t see is the electromagnetic
field that emerges around it! It appears because the current starts to flow
through the wiring and bulb. Magnetism and electricity are two sides of
one coin. When electricity flows, it creates an electromagnetic
field. Just like that, when we talk about wireless
energy transfer, we talk about electric current running through coils of copper wire and creating
that magnetic field. The more wire – the more powerful the field
will be. Simple, right? To make a strong electromagnetic field with
copper wire, you need a lot of it. Still, it’s one of the most fitting materials. Copper is an unbeatable conductor of electricity,
meaning it helps it flow instead of blocking it. It’s a lousy conductor of a symphony orchestra,
but that’s something entirely different. Copper also shields electric tech from excessive
electromagnetic waves, like radio frequencies. Finally, it’s incredibly resilient to corrosion
and can withstand any kind of power provided there’s enough wire. In short, this stuff’s durable and effective! The biggest surprise here is that the technology
behind wireless charging hasn’t drastically changed since Tesla. It’s just that no one could find a decent
use for it. But today, most new mobile devices come with
an electromagnetic coil wired into their hardware. A similar coil, but bigger and more powerful,
is inside the charger, which is plugged into the socket. Electricity comes to the charger and powers
up the coil, which becomes the source for an electromagnetic field. When the charger’s field meets with the
one that’s in your phone, they start to interfere with each other, (much like little
and big brothers) and the bigger field gives charge to the smaller one. This connection provides a safe way for the
power to go from one coil to another. The main problem engineers struggled with
for a long time is that coils weren’t effective. The power of the field depends on the number
of coils you can fit in the device. Until you can effectively and cheaply fit
a reasonable amount of wire into the coil, you can’t make anything useful out of it. Another problem is that electromagnetic fields
need to be close to each other to keep a strong connection. That’s why wireless chargers today come
in the form of mats – you need to put your phone right on it to get any juice at all. You can’t just hold it up or even lay it
down nearby – they need to touch! Fortunately, fitting wire in a charger or
a smartphone isn’t a huge challenge anymore, so we’re finally seeing the mass production
of such devices. This new tech isn’t huge yet because let’s
face it – wires are still faster than an electromagnetic field. Wireless charging takes around double the
time to charge a smartphone from 0% to 100%. Plus, it’s called wireless, but it’s not
really. You still have to plug in the charger itself. What about the convenience factor? Yes, no more tangled cables lying around your
house, but what if you want to charge your phone somewhere else? It’s still much easier to take a cord with
you. Some people are afraid that wireless charging
can be harmful to their devices or even to their health, but every new and unfamiliar
technology has its skeptics. There’s no way a short-range electromagnetic
field can cause any harm to you. After all, every device goes through innumerable
tests before being launched to the public. And as for your smartphone – it might even
be better because it eliminates the possibility of harmful electric discharges. First made possible a century before, it isn’t
without its flaws now, but futurologists (people who study future possibilities) say that sooner
or later, we may forget about wires altogether. You can already see how this future is unfolding
right now. Some companies have started producing furniture
with built-in wireless chargers. Sure, it’s a little strange to plug in your
table, but who wouldn’t be happy to charge a smartphone just by laying it down? And not just a smartphone; the list goes on:
laptops without power cables and even road lines that charge your electric car on the
go. The possibilities are endless! What object would you like to be able to charge
your phone with? I’m gonna say my kitchen counter, I spend
a lot of time there. Feel free to share down in the comments! As you can imagine, the whole method of electromagnetic
charging won’t stay the same. As with anything, it’ll only get better
in the upcoming years. New prototypes allow charging within 15 feet
of the charger, and it’s able to charge multiple devices at once! Crazy, huh? Eventually, devices could be as effective
as a Wi-Fi router. Then, you won’t need any wires in your home
at all. And a newly discovered kind of interference
with the electromagnetic field means improved power and faster charging! But electromagnetic charging may want to speed
up in its development; other competitors are coming in fast, and some of them are on the
rise. Like resonance charging, it’s not entirely
different, still uses electromagnetic waves, but on a particular frequency. The charger and receiver are both on the same
frequency, and that provides better results. This way, the energy transmitted isn’t lost
but focused only on the charging device. Resonance charging will be good for devices
with a high level of power usage, like cars, laptops, or even some robots. It’ll work within a 15-foot radius while
providing plenty of power. It’s also safe to use; it’ll cause absolutely
no negative effects on devices, people, or pets. And batteries may not even be needed in some
devices you use at home because the resonance charger will provide a constant power supply. Another idea researchers are considering is
laser charging. It may be extremely powerful and focused,
but it has big bugs to work out first. A laser will work on any distance but needs
a clear line of sight to the device. If interrupted, it won’t work at all. The most problematic thing here is that lasers
aren’t that safe. But the possibility of laser charging isn’t
ruled out yet, scientists might make a discovery to fix these issues. Some other fresh research is aimed at the
use of infrared light-waves, radio signals, or even ultrasound waves to charge phones
and other devices. The results are quite surprising: looks like
it’d be possible to charge a phone with any sounds, like background noise or the sound
of your own voice. For a talkative person that lives in a big
noisy city, that’ll be a must-have feature! Add to this the fact that batteries too will
change in upcoming years, and you may feel dizzy from all the possibilities the future
holds for us. Moving away from lithium-ion based batteries
will not only make them safer but also more effective. For example, one idea suggests using safe
and non-flammable organic materials to make batteries. These batteries will be used in smaller electric
vehicles, and they’re supposed to be charged in 2 minutes. They’ll also have enough capacity to power
a car on a 300-mile run. Combine that with wireless charging and HELLO
future! Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other cool videos I think
you’ll enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!

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