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An Open Standard For Wireless Charging? 82

Posted by timothy
from the tall-skinny-latte-power-surcharge dept.
Charging portable devices without needing to carry a power adapter sounds handy, and it's slowly getting closer to widespread use. IPAQ2000 writes that AT&T, Google and Starbucks announced yesterday "that they have joined the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). Founded by Powermat Technologies and Procter & Gamble, the PMA's Honorary Chairman is Google's Vint Cerf – one of the fathers of the Internet — and its board now also includes AT&T, Duracell, Google and Starbucks. The U.S. Government's Energy Star and Federal Communications Commission – both PMA members — are board observers." (How does Starbucks come into it? They're "testing PMA-compatible Wireless Charging Spots in select Boston stores.")
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An Open Standard For Wireless Charging?

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  • by marcansoft (727665) <hector@nOspAM.marcansoft.com> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @08:11AM (#41816775) Homepage

    That isn't caused by overcharging, it's caused by the battery simply being at 100% charge. Li-ion batteries like to be stored at 40% charge, and degrade much faster at 100%.

    The technical solution to this problem is a trivial firmware change to the charging controller to only charge the battery to 40%. However, I suspect nobody has done it because nobody has figured out how to get the users to switch to "40% maintenance charge mode" when always plugged in, without pissing them off when they run off and discover that their device is only 40% charged. The fundamental problem is being able to predict when the user will need to actually use the battery, and only fully charge it immediately prior.

  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @08:56AM (#41817227)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi_(inductive_power_standard) [wikipedia.org]

    Samsung and Nokia are already releasing phones with it, too.

    How many of these wireless charging standards do we need? (Oops, I'm gettin' it now...)

  • by Artraze (600366) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:01AM (#41818119)

    While I'm not going to say "never ever", the future you propose is not going to happen. Efficiency drops off _drastically_ with distance; the notion that you would have some power transmitter somewhere that would power a light somewhere else is so purely sci-fi that it's pointless to even speculate on efficiency of a setup. Sure, you could put a wireless power unit behind the wall where your TV is mounted, but why not just run a wire through the wall at that point? The hole isn't even an argument because you'll have already added some to mount it. Ditto with lights.

    Wireless power isn't about wireless in the WiFi sense that it grands mobility, it's wireless in the NFC sense that it doesn't require a wire to be plugged in. That means less cycles on a fragile connecter, no plug/unplug time, etc. Maybe even allowing hermetically sealed devices. Realistically the most this might be used for is a laptop, but even then I think it would usually make more sense to just plug it in (e.g. at home... this might make sense for a cafe table).

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