These days, it seems like everything is going wireless. From Internet connections to headsets, keyboards, cable receivers, and everything in between--today's consumers simply don't want to deal with the hassle of wires to enjoy their favorite electronic devices. Fairly recently, with the introduction of inductive power transfer, it's even become possible to charge batteries without the need for wires. Read on to learn about wireless battery charging technology, and join in on the speculation as to whether it's just a fad, or here to stay.
How do Rechargeable Batteries and Pads Work?
Using inductive power transfer (also known as Magnetic Resonance), certain batteries can be re-charged by simply placing them on a special charging pad. Batteries from a number of popular, everyday electronic devices may be charged using a battery pad, including:
- video recorders
- cell phones
So, how do they work? This is where things get a bit more complicated. Voltage within the charger's transmitter circuit is first converted into a high-frequency alternating current when the device is turned on. Next, a coil within the transmitter (charger) receives the AC current; this is where magnetic fields come into play.
The rechargeable battery contained within the device also has a magnetic coil. When the device is placed on the pad, a magnetic field is created between the two coils and the AC current extends from the transmitter coil to the battery's coil. As the current flows between the two devices, it's converted into a direct current, which charges the battery in the same way that an electric current from a wall charger would.
So...Are They Here to Stay?
Certainly, rechargeable battery pads are an impressive technology. However, inductive charging is also a relatively new discovery, so the cost of a wireless charging pad is still considered a bit high for some consumers, who would rather pay significantly less for a traditional wall charger.
Currently, the average cost for a rechargeable battery and pad runs between $110 and $125. Some still consider the wireless charging pad to be a novelty, whereas others claim that the convenience is worth the cost.
However, as the demand for wireless everything inevitably grows, it's believed that the demand for these chargers will as well. In turn, as more manufacturing is done and greater advancements are made in the process, the devices will become more affordable to the average consumer over time.
Some sources also predict that in given time, many electronic devices will automatically come with inductive charging systems built in. Only time will tell what the future holds for rechargeable battery pads, but as with many other wireless technologies that were once considered novelty and innovative (anybody remember life before the wireless phone?), it's a safe bet to say that they're here to stay.