Why you plug gadgets into the wall like a Neanderthal

Wireless charging? We have the technology; what we don't have is industry vision -- or unity.

By , Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless

Google's new Nexus 7 represents something close to the future of wireless charging. It comes with wireless charging capability without an additional kit or add-on. Although it comes with a conventional wired charger, it doesn't come with its own wireless charger. You have to buy that separately.

If all handset and tablet makers adopted wireless charging for their devices and didn't include chargers with their products -- wireless or otherwise -- every gadget buyer would be forced to buy an all-purpose charger, and the industry would be on its way toward wireless nirvana.

The U.S. version of the Verizon LG G2 gets it right, too, with wireless charging out of the box. The phone should become available through Verizon on Sept. 12.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has an optional wireless charging kit. The upgrade requires the replacement of the phone's back cover, which makes the device thicker. The phone's S Charger kit uses the Qi standard, so it should charge with any Qi charger.

An unconfirmed rumor says the still-unannounced BlackBerry Z30 will have Qi-based wireless charging. The rumor was started when the WPC included the device on its list of supporting gadgets.

Apple's various iPhones don't support wireless charging, unless you buy a separate case. Doing so adds a lot of bulk and heft to the iPhone. But it might be worth it.

Buqu Tech's Magnetyze wireless charging case for the iPhone 5 is one new option. (The company also makes similar cases for the iPhone 4 line and the Samsung Galaxy S3).

The ZENS wireless charging flip case is another option for the iPhone 5. (ZENS makes similar cases and pads for a wide variety of handset models.)

Sadly, most smartphones don't have wireless charging capability built in, or wireless charging aftermarket options.

Universal charging plates

Because of the standards wars, you have to choose between Power 2.0 and Qi universal chargers, if you want to go the wireless route. In general, however, Qi is the way to go for phones and tablets.

Energizer (you know, the bunny people) has a range of universal Qi chargers and smartphone cases.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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