Wireless charging is set to take off this year with the likes of HTC’s (2498) Windows Phone 8X, Nokia’s (NOK) Lumia 920 and 820 and Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 4. By comparison, Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 feels decidedly last-gen without wireless charging or NFC. Apple’s reason for omitting wireless charging is that smartphones still need charging stations/plates plugged into the wall to work. A new Apple patent discovered by AppleInsider suggests the company is investigating a more elegant solution – wireless charging that uses “near-field magnetic resonance” to recharge an iPhone’s battery. The patent details a “virtual charging area” about one meter wide that can be used to provide electricity to devices simply by stepping within a certain radius of a power source. The patent calls the idea a “realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring.”
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is getting a lot of flak for being iterative, predictable and even disappointing to some. Everywhere we turn, we keep hearing the same story: Why doesn’t the iPhone 5 have a bigger screen, a larger battery, a higher megapixel camera and Near Field Communication (NFC)? AllThingsD caught up with Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, to get to the bottom of the so-called “missing features.” More →
Rumors that wireless charging will be introduced in Apple’s next iPhone seem to pop up at least once or twice ahead of each new iPhone release. Perhaps Apple is indeed working on wireless charging technology, or perhaps people just wish that were the case. Regardless of whether or not Apple has plans to bring futuristic charging tech to an upcoming iPhone, one U.K. man took it upon himself to add the exciting feature to his iPhone 4S. More →
Chrysler’s Mopar division plans to become the first car manufacturer to eliminate power cords from cars. The company on Monday announced its new in-vehicle wireless charging technology, which will be available in the 2013 Dodge Dart. “At Mopar, we look for every single opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier,”said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. Our industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system is the perfect solution for those connected customers who are always on the go.” The wireless charging system is installed just below the center stack and in front of the center console. The unit features a built-in charging grid that is activated when a user places their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or compatible MP3 player on it, and will begin to charge when the vehicle is started. As with other wireless charging options, a separate phone case will be required. The in-vehicle wireless charging system will be available for $199.99 plus installation, and the 2013 Dodge Dart is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2012. Read on for Chrysler’s press release. More →
These days when we think of wireless charging we think about using an accessory for our cell phones. Not long from now we may be using the same tech to power our electric vehicles. According to CNET, Toyota has invested in a company called WiTricity that, until now, has developed wireless charging solutions specifically for portable electronics. In a recent statement Toyota said that it “believes that resonance wireless charging is suitable for automobiles and aims for its early practical use.” Using magnetic near-field, WiTricity could potentially offer a wireless charging solution for cars, too. We’re imagining a future where, instead of pulling up to the pump, or plugging your electric car into an outlet, you simply need to drive into your garage to begin charging. “WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near-field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves,” the firm said. Other companies, like HaloIPT, also offer wireless car-charging solutions, but this is the first we’ve heard of a major car manufacturer getting on board. More →
We met up with LG on Tuesday to check out its inductive Wireless Charging Pad, which it hopes will compete against competitors like Powermat. During our hands-on, we weren’t able to test the device — it seems someone forgot to charge the charger — but we were able to get a feel for its size, weight and some of its features. The Wireless Charging Pad has a power indicator that alerts you just how much power is left, and LG says it takes about two hours to charge itself up fully. All you have to do once it’s juiced up is pop a special back onto your smartphone and drop it onto the charging pad. In our eyes, the Wireless Charging Pad wasn’t a whole lot different than the Powermat; it’s light in the hand and can easily be packed in a briefcase, backpack or even a Florida tourist-friendly oversized fanny pack. LG hasn’t said which of its phones the Wireless Charging Pad will be compatible with just yet, but we think it’s a little counter intuitive for LG to make it only compatible with LG phones. Don’t forget to check out our photo gallery below!