Liv­ing Free

As more gad­gets be­come mo­bile and wire­less, we’re break­ing free of cords and wires


World over, smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers are work­ing on newer tech­nolo­gies that can make their smart­phones smarter than ever. One such tech­nol­ogy is wire­less charg­ing. Means, you can charge your mo­bile phone with­out di­rectly con­nect­ing the de­vice to a power source us­ing wire or cable. Ru­mors are that man­u­fac­tur­ers like Sam­sung and HTC al­ready have such de­vices. Sam­sung Galaxy S3 and HTC Re­zound are be­lieved to have this fea­ture. The fact of the mat­ter is that any gad­get can have this fea­ture pro­vided there is a power trans­fer unit which must be con­nected to the power source and the power cap­ture unit which will be em­bed­ded in the gad­get to charge it.

How­ever wire­less charg­ing is not a new con­cept, though it is be­ing rat­i­fied in the re­cent times. Ni­cola Tesla, Aus­trian sci­en­tist, in­vented the wire­less power trans­mis­sion in the early 1900s dur­ing his fa­mous Colorado Springs ex­per­i­ment. Un­for­tu­nately, his in­ven­tion went into ob­scu­rity but now it is be­ing ac­cepted by ma­jor play­ers in var­i­ous in­dus­tries.

How Does it Work?

Like the ra­dio sta­tion trans­mits the songs in the form of ra­dio waves and the re­ceiver de­codes it be­fore we lis­ten to the song, charg­ing the cell­phone or iPods or iPads wire­lessly is pos­si­ble us­ing the same for­mula of physics. The wire­less charg­ing sys­tem in­cludes 2 units—power trans­fer unit and power re­cep­tion unit, both are made up of cop­per coils. The trans­fer unit is con­nected to the power source and it pro­duces a non-ra­dia­tive mag­netic field around its space os­cil­lat­ing in MHz fre­quency. It means this field will not be widely spread across in space un­like the elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion. So, only the space around this trans­fer unit is filled with the res­o­nant mag­netic field.

When the re­ceiv­ing unit is brought nearby this non-ra­dia­tive mag­netic field then it starts res­onat­ing. This re­ceiver is specif­i­cally de­signed to res­onate in this mag­netic field. The elec­tric cur­rent run­ning in the trans­fer unit coil in­duces an­other cur­rent in the re­ceiv­ing coil, hence trans­fer­ring the power. This cur­rent gen­er­ated in the re­ceiv­ing coil can be used to power the de­vice. Us­ing this method, over sev­eral kilo­watts of power can be trans­ferred safely and ef­fi­ciently over sig­nif­i­cantly larger dis­tances ir­re­spec­tive of the align­ment.

Me­vices kept from some cen­time­ters to sev­eral me­ters far can cou­ple to­gether and trans­fer the power, but this also de­pends on some con­di­tions like amount of power to be trans­ferred, cap­tur­ing de­vice size, etc. So, the power trans­fer ef­fi­ciency mainly de­pends on the dis­tance be­tween the trans­fer unit and the re­ceiv­ing unit.

Re­cent De­vel­op­ments

Sam­sung and Qual­comm have re­cently joined forces and formed the Al­liance for Wire­less Power (A4WP) which aims to ac­cel­er­ate the de­vel­op­ment of wire­less charg­ing. Be­sides Sam­sung and Qual­comm, Nver Win In­dus­tries, Gill In­dus­tries, Peiker Acus­tic, Pow­er­mat Tech­nolo­gies, and SO Tele­com are also mem­bers, and more are wel­come to join, ac­cord­ing to the 2 com­pa­nies. Ship­ments of wire­less power en­abled de­vices are ex­pected to sur­pass 100 mn by 2015, ac­cord­ing to IMS Re­search, a mar­ket re­search com­pany.

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