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Why you plug gadgets into the wall like a Neanderthal

Mike Elgan | Aug. 26, 2013
Wireless charging? We have the technology; what we don't have is industry vision -- or unity.

An unconfirmed rumor says the still-unannounced BlackBerry Z30 will have Qi-based wireless charging. The rumor was started when the WPC included the device on its list of supporting gadgets.

Apple's various iPhones don't support wireless charging, unless you buy a separate case. Doing so adds a lot of bulk and heft to the iPhone. But it might be worth it.

Buqu Tech's Magnetyze wireless charging case for the iPhone 5 is one new option. (The company also makes similar cases for the iPhone 4 line and the Samsung Galaxy S3).

The ZENS wireless charging flip case is another option for the iPhone 5. (ZENS makes similar cases and pads for a wide variety of handset models.)

Sadly, most smartphones don't have wireless charging capability built in, or wireless charging aftermarket options.

Universal charging plates
Because of the standards wars, you have to choose between Power 2.0 and Qi universal chargers, if you want to go the wireless route. In general, however, Qi is the way to go for phones and tablets.

Energizer (you know, the bunny people) has a range of universal Qi chargers and smartphone cases.

You can also buy Qi charging plates from LG, Monster Watts, AGPtek, Esorun and others.

Some phones, such as the Nexus 4, the Nokia DT-900 and the LG WCP-300, have wireless Qi chargers that work pretty well with other Qi devices. The only problem is that they tend to be too small for charging tablets.

As you can see from my brief survey here, wireless charging is slouching toward some kind of ubiquity.

What we really need is one standard, and a handset and tablet industry that stops shipping chargers of any kind, but makes sure every device has wireless charging capability built in.

If that happened, we would be forced to embrace a new model where universal charging pads are found throughout our homes and in our offices and cars, and we would save time, money and energy because every device wouldn't come with its own dumb charger.


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