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No longer need to "specify a time to charge"
Starbucks said recently that it will set up 100,000 "Powermat Spot" free wireless charging stations in 7,500 stores including the Teawana Tea Bar in the United States, and start testing from the Los Angeles Bay Area. In the future, consumers will get rid of the power outlet, and only need to put the mobile phone on the special equipment of the desktop to realize the charging of the mobile phone. The “Powermat” looks like a small black disc, which can continuously emit low power, which is convenient for consumers to enjoy the coffee while charging the various mobile intelligent terminals. Powermat was founded in 2006 by Israeli entrepreneur Ran Poliakine. The company has been focusing on the development of wired charging technology for mobile phones and other devices for many years. In 2011, it began to cooperate with Duracell Battery to launch a series of casings for mobile intelligent terminal charging. , adapters and other products. The Powermat, which is installed in the Starbucks store, is the latest in its use. It uses a new technology called “electromagnetic induction charging”, which enables power transmission between similar objects. The biggest selling point is that it is no longer charged. I need that annoying wire.
In fact, electromagnetic induction, as the basic technology of wireless charging, has long been nothing new. It has existed for more than 100 years. The principle is as follows: First, the electromagnetic induction coil on the charging base will form an electromagnetic field. After an electromagnetic induction coil is in contact (the coil is typically connected to the device that needs to be charged), power is delivered to it. In the opinion of experts, it works no differently than charging your electric toothbrush with a charging stand.
However, electromagnetic induction technology also has shortcomings, making it difficult to become a mainstream technology. First, each electromagnetic induction coil can only charge one device. Therefore, it is inefficient and inconvenient in today's multi-device environment. Second, it requires the user to position the device very accurately in order for the coil to start and maintain the charging process.
In this regard, RanPoliakine's point of view is that the key to promoting wireless charging technology is not how to achieve the fastest or most efficient connection, but how to get people to use it where they are most needed: "The problem we are trying to solve is, How to make consumers charge all day. The biggest obstacle is relevance. Where should we put the charging point?” He added: “The place where you need this service most is at home or outside the office.”
What he said is very reasonable. It's a good idea to put the charging point in the Starbucks store, at least to avoid having to look for a power outlet when you are chatting in the coffee shop. Alternatively, you can put it in an airport, hotel or Powermat charging station. According to the charging efficiency, wireless charging is not as good as wired charging. In other words, charging with wireless will take more time. But the significance of wireless charging is that you can make full use of the fragmentation time - you don't have to take out the wires and plug in the interface. When you don't use the phone, putting it down means charging it, instead of "specifying a time to charge."
Various standard technologies dazzled
However, whether wireless charging can become mainstream, Starbucks said it is not. At this point, Nokia's attitude is very important.
As the first manufacturer to introduce wireless charging technology into the field of smart phones, Nokia UK has once again demonstrated the charm of wireless charging technology through the form of cartoon short films. In the video, a couple tired of going back to their bedroom one day, the male protagonist (using the iPhone) went home and went to bed, thinking about charging the phone, then looking around for the charger, and finally, because of the throw, The charging line is once again out of the interface... In contrast to the heroine, simply put the Lumia 1520 on a wireless charging pad, and then, the next morning, you will find that the phone is properly "resurgently full". The video's voice-over emphasizes: "In your bedroom, it's time to say No with the troublesome cable. With the wireless charger, you can make the Lumia smartphone charge like a child sleeping."
Among the smart terminal giants, Nokia has invested the most in wireless charging technology, and it is called “the first person to eat crabs”. The Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 released in 2012 are the first smartphones to support this feature. At the same time, Nokia has also developed a number of wireless charging peripherals, such as wireless charging trays, wireless charging brackets, "Little Fatty" Fatboy wireless charging pillows, and JBLPowerUp wireless charging speakers... as long as the phone that supports this feature will be placed On any of the above devices, you can start charging automatically.
However, although the giants are eager to try, there is still no uniform technical standard in the field of wireless charging. Between the "Qi" standard represented by Nokia Lumia equipment and the Powermat-led Power Supply Alliance (PMA) standard, although electromagnetic induction technology is used in the same way, products are not compatible with each other. For example, at Starbucks, Powermat based on the PMA standard cannot charge wirelessly for various devices that support the Qi standard, such as Nexus tablets and Lumia phones. Although Qi has become the favorite standard of mobile phone and mobile device manufacturers due to its low threshold and versatility, there are more than 200 companies supporting Qi in the industry, and only 72 PMAs. However, incompatibility is incompatible, and there is no way for ordinary users.
In addition to the most popular electromagnetic induction, there are many wireless charging technologies and standards that are eager to try, such as wireless charging devices produced by magnetic resonance technology. This type of equipment relies mainly on the principle of electromagnetic resonance coupling to form a magnetic field around each coil that can transmit electricity without the need to precisely align the coils. Its biggest advantage is that wireless charging can be achieved over a small distance without the need for the device to be in direct contact with the charger. So you can put the charging board under the table instead of on the table. Another advantage of magnetic resonance technology is that it can simultaneously support more than one device charging. To this end, relevant manufacturers have established the A4WP Standard Alliance on this technology. Last year, Intel joined the A4WP wireless charging alliance and became an important member of the alliance.
In addition, there is an iNPOFi technology. Its products adopt intelligent electric transmission wireless charging technology, which has the characteristics of no radiation, high electric energy conversion efficiency and weak thermal effect. It is worth mentioning that this technology is independently developed by Chinese companies. The charging device adopting the technology comprises two parts: a power transmitting device and a power receiving device. The size and thickness of the transmitting device are equivalent to those of an ordinary mobile phone, and the receiving device is embedded in the protective cover of the mobile phone, and the mobile phone is sleeved on the protective cover and placed on the transmitting device. Start charging. The phone does not need to be plugged in any cable during charging. Correlation tests show that the electromagnetic radiation is zero during the charging process, and the energy efficiency conversion is 94.7%, which is close to the line charging. The iNPOFi charging device supports low voltage power and is compatible with normal USB power. At the same time, low-temperature charging can be realized, which effectively protects the safety and life of the equipment and battery.
Large-scale application will take time
“It looks beautiful,” which is used to describe the current wireless charging technology.
Although the concept of wireless charging is very hot, in fact, the development of wireless charging technology still faces many obstacles, and the standard unification is a big "hard". In the current market, there are three major standards including PMA, A4WP and Qi, representing different manufacturers' camps and interest groups. Although many vendors have introduced products and applications based on their own standards, there is no interoperability between these standards. For consumers, the desire to “go a product to the world” is still not possible.
Take the wireless charging service launched by Starbucks, based on the PMA standard. If you are not supporting the PMA standard terminal and want to use the wireless charging service at Starbucks, you must equip the corresponding adapter, which is undoubtedly increased for the user. Cost and increase the difficulty of operation.
More companies are "foot on two boats". For example, Qualcomm is not only the founder of the A4WP standard, it is also a supporter of the Qi standard and the PMA standard; Samsung's situation is basically the same, and Intel has not officially announced that it wants to join. The other two criteria, but with the toe, I know that it will never tie itself to the A4WP standard.
Not only in the field of wireless charging of smart terminals, but also in the field of wireless charging of electric vehicles, the unification of standards is also a big problem. For a long time, the industry has disputed the frequency of wireless power transmission of electric vehicles, which has affected the development of technology to a certain extent. However, the industry has recently reached an agreement on this, decided to use the 85kHz frequency. In November 2013, the Association of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which promoted the “SAEJ2954” standard, announced the adoption of 85 kHz, and Japanese companies also ranked 85 kHz as the first candidate.
In the future, which standard will dominate the world, or whether several standards are divided, we don't know, but bringing simpler and more convenient applications to consumers is an eternal goal pursued by the industry. Not long ago, chip maker Broadcom released a wireless charging chip called BCM59350, which claims to be compatible with all existing wireless charging standards. No matter which wireless charging technology device the user uses, they can be freely charged with the support of the chip.
Of course, the generalization of wireless charging technology will still face a series of challenges after cracking the standard problem. How to make the cost of wireless charging products continue to decrease and adapt to the needs of mass popularization? How to deploy wireless charging devices on a large scale in public places so that consumers can really charge them anytime, anywhere? These are all questions to be solved. However, some insiders pointed out that the more vendors entering the wireless charging field, the faster the cost goes down, and it is the low-cost latency period. In order to seize this market, domestic and foreign manufacturers are bound to compete to introduce low-cost solutions to meet customer needs.
Objectively speaking, compared to the traditional wired charging method, wireless charging technology can bring a lot of convenience, breaking the constraints of time and space. We have reason to believe that with the development of wireless charging technology and the further maturity of related products, wireless charging technology will have a bright application prospect.