Sony is working on a new wireless charging technology based on the Qi standard that could shorten wireless charging time to as little as an hour. Sony is able to achieve these rapid charging times since the new wireless charging devices and accessories are able to use more current to charge phones and tablets.
According to Japan’s Nikkei publication, the new Sony-made devices are able to use 10-15 watts of electricity. Additionally, partner Rohm Company is also developing a control chip for the higher wattage of the wireless chargers. The control circuitry is important in mitigating issues of overheating when using a wireless charger.
The products will become commercially available later in 2014 so don’t expect new phones with faster wireless charging in the next few months. Currently, a number of phones from Nokia, Google’s Nexus range, and Samsung’s phones via an optional wireless charging cover use wireless charging based on the Qi standard. These phones currently available won’t be able to support the new Sony faster charging rates as this is an issue that’s hardware dependent, so only new devices with the right hardware technology could take advantage of this.
At this time, the wireless charging landscape is still a new frontier with competing standards and technologies. However, at its core, wireless charging requires two components. First, the technology must either be built into the smartphone or tablet, or these smart devices must support the wireless charging feature via a third-party case or accessory. With wireless charging on the device, second, a wireless charging plate must be plugged into the wall. When a user sets their phones on these charging plates, wireless charging is achieved by not requiring a cable to be plugged directly into the device.
While this may sound like an unnecessary feature for many people, it does come in useful. If you use your phone by your bed at night in the dark, for example, you could just set the phone down on the wireless charging pad to charge your phone rather than trying to fumble with the micro USB charging cable.