PowerbyProxi > Consumer Electronics Solutions > Recharging your smartphone, what is convenient and practical?

Recharging your smartphone, what is convenient and practical?

July 27, 2012 / 10 Comments / 397 / Consumer Electronics Solutions
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One of the hottest new technologies for Mobile Consumer Electronics is battery recharging without plugging in the power cord – thanks to wireless technology.

The fundamental wireless power technology itself was invented in the last century and common devices such as electric toothbrushes have been using it since the 1990’s.

The next frontier is to recharge a broad range of Consumer Electronics devices such as smartphones and tablets, ultrabooks, notebooks, digital cameras, and many others that would use a conventional AA rechargeable battery. Certainly, consumer convenience is the ability of wirelessly recharging a device by placing it on a power charging mat and skipping the step of plugging in the power cable.  This is a big advantage since connectors and cables become unreliable and break down after many uses (think doing this one or more times per day).

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) was formed 3 years ago and created a specification.  Suppliers lined up to develop and supply solutions.  Market analysts have been setting high expectations for consumer adoption.

So why has adoption been slow to date?  Have you seen the products being supplied by the WPC vendors and do you understand what they are capable or NOT capable of?

What is not spoken of is that with WPC products you have to be careful in aligning and orienting your smartphone or other device precisely on the charging pad.  Otherwise it will not charge!  This is an extra step and not a true convenience.  Some people refer to this as a tightly coupled solution.

Also, many consumers want to simultaneously charge multiple devices.  Again the WPC based charging pads can do so but the cost increases significantly with each device since the electronics and coils need to be replicated.

I have heard that heat generated by the WPC products may be an issue for devices. If anyone has details, please share them so that we can better understand the issue.

In my view, the above limitations are inherent in the WPC specification.  This falls short of the benefits that consumers expect and thus may not create a mass market.

To solve all these important problems with practical solutions, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) formed a working group to drive a worldwide standard.  Have you seen what they are up to and who is leading this charge?

 Tony Francesca is VP of Business Development – Consumer Technologies 

Comments (5)

  1. Konstantin Lakirovich

    It is definitely ideal to drop your phone or any other device on the “charging pad” and, voila, it will be charged tomorrow morning. But as an engineer, who designed IPT systems I see a lot of challenges here. First, as was mentioned in the discussion – alignment. I see allignment not only as a  horizontal placement of the device, which should have  precise enough alignment of charging coils or some kind of an immunity to magnetic field, but also if the device is  landed heads or tails.
    Second challenge is the frequency, which should fit to all devices, dropped on the pad. They all should have resonance detector and should adjust their internal resonance loop according to transmitting frequency, which is more difficult to do than to adjust transmitting frequency to device resonance loop.
    Two even similar iphones hardly will have the same resonance parameters and the reason is inconsistency in inductances and capacitances. So, what frequency the charging pad should comply with – the first or the second device?
    Another challenge: let say one iphone locked on the frequency, resonance started and it happily takes its energy, but… because it was loosely dropped ( and this is the main idea of charging pad), its resonating current, which is tens times bigger than load current will couple to its neighbour, damaging it or affecting it. And , in addition, how this big enough magnetic field will affect the quality of reception – if somebody calls, will your phone be able to take this signal in the presence of strong and distributed in space magnetic field?
    I still see the charging station for iphones or other mobile devices more like a “drop in a slot” than “drop on the pad” devices. 

    1. Fady Mishriki

      Here at PowerbyProxi we have never believed in so called “tightly coupled” solutions that require exact alignment. We don’t get the point? All of our consumer solution platforms are loosely coupled so you can simply drop it and forget it (see the attached photo of one of our solutions for the Samsung Galaxy). With regards to the frequency, our patented Dynamic Harmonization Control technology was designed with exactly this in mind and can cope with multiple loads and varying loads as you describe. DHC ensures that the device will resonate at the frequency necessary to charge it at the same speed as a wired connection, no matter how many devices you are charging or how empty or full they are. Our wireless power technology is completely safe and does not interfere with electronics device, including your cell phone so you can make calls whist using it as you can see in our Proxi-3D video. Thanks for your interest.

      1. Konstantin Lakirovich

        Dear Mr. Mishriki

        Thank you, very much, for your explanation. It is very interesting what you company is doing. I learned a lot from published white papers, which describe your rotational power and data transferring couplings. My experience is mostly in long distance energy transfer, where resonance processes manifest themselves with very high current and voltage and  I had evaluated your mobile devices charging system from that ground. This can explain the challenges I saw in charging pads. I would like to reevaluate my approach to Wireless Charging systems. Would you be so kind to direct me on some of your white papers and published patents, which describes your technical approach?
        I wish you and your company success.  

        1. William Pryde

          Hi Konstantin, unfortunately we don’t have any of our white papers or key patents publicly available at this point in time. We are looking to get some uploaded soon through the website which can more clearly define our technical approach without releasing trade secrets. Thanks again for your comment and interest, we will be sure to update you when some of this information becomes available.

        2. William Pryde

          Hi Konstantin, unfortunately we don’t have any of our white papers or key patents publicly available at this point in time. We are looking to get some uploaded soon through the website which can more clearly define our technical approach without releasing trade secrets. Thanks again for your comment and interest, we will be sure to update you when some of this information becomes available.

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