Nov 11, 2020
As our dependence on smartphones, laptops and, gadgets has increased in recent years; there’s a commensurate dependence on batteries as well. Wireless power transmission without cords or charging mats has been a technology challenge for this domain for decades. The primary limitation of wireless technology today is that every charger needs its unique power supply. The global over-the-air wireless charging market is estimated to expand rapidly at a staggering CAGR of 30% from now to 2025. Over-the-air charging concepts are popping up faster than ever, mostly because of the imminent arrival of 5G.
IoT devices and other emerging technologies. Rising demand for power-hungry devices like mobiles, game controllers, smartwatches, fitness bands, hearing aids, earbuds, and home automation devices brings in a compelling need for over-the-air charging technology. Over-the-air charging systems transmit electricity using high-frequency millimeter waves, also known as electromagnetic waves. An added advantage is that the upcoming 5G network also uses the same millimeter frequency, making it easy for tech adoption.
Qi Technology & Evolution
Qi technology commonly used in wireless charging right now allows charging over very short distances without cables. Qi Tech is a near-field wireless power where a pad replaces a wired charger. These charging pads have a small drawback that requires the devices to be always placed on them in a precise position. The next-generation power transfer works on a principle of electromagnetic resonant technology that allows power transfer at certain distances away from a charging pad. It sends radio-frequency (RF) energy to a receiver in the device that converts the RF signal into DC power. The power directly goes into a chip-based receiver embedded or attached to the device. This can be used to power up smartphones or small battery-powered devices to around 10 mts or even 30 mts away.
Over-the-Air Charging Safety
As we get excited over these emerging technologies, there arises a question on how safe these airpower schemes are? The answer traces back to a picture from history where Nicolas Tesla calmly sits in a room filled with all forms of stray electrical charges, and it didn’t cause him any harm. Another fact is that RF-based air power systems essentially operate in the same range as WiFi does. 
Future Power Transmitters
Over-the-air charging breaks the stereotype idea of having separate charger units and aims to transform the devices we use now. The wireless power transmitters can either be standalone devices or built into existing products already plugged into an AC. An overhead light can be a transmitter, a TV, a desktop, or even a smart speaker. Over-the-air charging has the potential to transform not only the way we charge up our smart hand-helds or wearables but also how we use or interact with other smart devices around us that form part of our everyday life.
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