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    How Programmable Chargers Can Shape the Wireless Charging Landscape of Tomorrow

    • 4 min read

    How Programmable Chargers Can Shape the Wireless Charging Landscape of Tomorrow



    As we delve into the impending age of wireless charging, some of the old habits that we might have inadvertently picked up over the years will have to go. Among them, certain myths regarding battery life and charging patterns seem to have surprisingly spread far and wide in spite of how demonstrably untrue they are.

    Among them, the idea that you shouldn’t charge up your phone’s battery to its full capacity when getting a new phone, or the even stranger notion that you shouldn’t keep your phone plugged in overnight. Needless to say, there isn’t really any science behind these myths, and yet they seem to have passed on into the age of wireless charging.

    This is particularly true for high-end wireless chargers, along with a few emerging myths that only seem to apply to wireless chargers. For starters,some people believe that no contact wireless charging can interfere with your phone’s Wi-Fi signal and mobile connectivity. Another similar myth claims that a wireless charger can somehow damage your battery if you use it too often.

    It goes without saying that both of these claims are completely unsubstantiated and that the science behind Qi charging is very solid and relatively safe. Although the occasional overcharge does happen with low-range wireless chargers, the overcharge protection system that most Qi-ready devices incorporate protects the devices against any serious long-term damage.

    Seeing how we live in the age of hashtag activism and clickbait journalism, we can see how even poorly researched claims such as these could, unfortunately, reach a wide audience over time. It is perhaps one of the reasons why some serious manufacturers are working on programmable wireless chargers and why the idea has such huge support to begin with.

    Charging your devices on a schedule

    To prevent any confusion regarding the proper way to recharge a Qi-ready device, some manufacturers are floating the idea of releasing a programmable wireless charger. Although such a device is still a couple of years away from seeing the light of day, the concept seems to have been well-received by mobile engineers as the utility of such a charger is fairly obvious.

    For starters, a programmable charger will have to be built according to the same principles that programmable automatic battery chargers use. These chargers are commonly used to charge 12-volt lead-acid batteries or Gel Cell and LifePO4 batteries, allowing currents of up to 540 Amp or even more.

    For a smart Qi-ready phone or tablet, the charger will obviously deliver a much smaller charge, but the general idea is pretty similar. This should placate those of us who are unwilling to leave our phones plugged in overnight. It should also quell the fears of anyone who is concerned that their phone will only charge for a couple of hours and then spend the remainder of the night wasting away the charge.

    In principle, a programmable charger would be able to allow the user the freedom to choose when and for how long the charger should run. At the same time, it would also let them choose the current and the Amp index, at least to the extent that their phones can handle.

    A static yet commanding presence on the nightstand

    It goes without saying that programmable wireless chargers are bound to aim towards a dual output setup sooner rather than later. This was the case with wired chargers many years ago and we see clear signs for the pattern to repeat itself. As far as input goes, these chargers will likely offer a dual input source with USB or AC/DC with arbitration.

    If current trends are to persevere, any dual-output/input charger will also include a dual output for system operation with a dead or missing battery, be it for standard USB or USB 2.0 (or 3.0) depending on the setup. This will lead tono contact wireless charging setups with automatic input source detection at some point in the not-so-distant future.

    Needless to say, these chargers are already starting to adhere to specific international standards. We specifically refer here to the European union’s Memorandum of Understanding for standardized mobile phone chargers. Once formulated to address wired chargers, the same regulations and standards apply to wireless chargers for obvious reasons.

    Versatility with no need for add-ons

    When first-generation wireless chargers hit the market a few years back, there was a real concern about their inbuilt capabilities and whether not they would require certain accommodations or accessories to reach their potential. This has largely been the case with primitive chargers a few decades ago, so some people believed that history would repeat itself.

    Fortunately enough, wireless chargers and Qi chargers in particular, tend to incorporate a full array of useful and practical components designed to maximize functionality. 

    Toward the high-end part of the technological spectrum, we can even find chargers with multiple full current outputs, ranging AC input modes, parallel capability for separate units, and every protective technology you could think of.

    This isvery useful in regards to no contact wireless charging as it allows for a more care-free operation and minimal improvisation on the user’s part. What’s more, next-generation Qi chargers are expected to incorporate programmable charging modes that can be set for multiple stages depending on the battery that’s being charged.

    One thing to remember is that no matter how innovative or well-built a charger is, it will always have its share of downfalls. For some Qi chargers, the issue is that they cannot accommodate certain devices or insufficiently charge some of them. With others, the problem has more to do with practical design and aesthetics, with respect to how easy they blend into the environment.

    All things considered, what we currently see in development at this point in time makes us genuinely hopeful and enthusiastic about the future of wireless charging, along with a confidence that future chargers won’t just get better and sturdier, but that they’ll also incorporate programmable features soon enough.