LG Intros World's Smallest Wireless Charger

This week during World Mobile Congress 2013, LG introduced the "world's smallest" wireless charger, measuring only 6.9-cm in diameter. It's based on the Qi standard and uses electromagnetic induction technology, meaning users will be required to place their mobile device directly on the wireless charger itself in order to replenish the battery.

Called the WCP-300, LG's new charger was built with portability in mind, and offers a charging area 1.7 times wider than that of LG's previous generation wireless charger despite its size. This new model is compatible with a standard 5-pin micro-USB charger, but the LG Spectrum 2 and Nexus 4 (also produced by LG) can use the charger right out of the box.

"Wireless charging is the holy grail of smartphone user convenience," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "With the WCP-300, LG was able to deliver both portability with top-class charging capabilities in a device no larger than a typical beverage coaster."

The Qi specification requires that a compatible device charge on a surface area of at least 2.75-inches by 0.79-inches via magnetic induction. This method doesn't require a wired connection, but rather a transmitter coil and a receiver coil to transmit power. A magnetic field that's generated by alternating current in the transmitter actually induces a voltage in the receiver coil.

In contrast, the newer A4WP specification takes a different wireless charging approach by using magnetic resonance to charge a device up to around 1.5-inches away. Thus a tablet or smartphone can be charged when placed next to a laptop sporting resonance charging capabilities without having to be seated directly on a charging platform. LG's new charger doesn't use this method.

"LG believes that built-in support for upcoming smartphones will be the most critical development in making wireless charging the industry standard going forward," the company said. "LG is committed to offering consumers a better mobile user experience by introducing smartphones with more advanced wireless charging technologies in the global market."

The company didn't say when, where or how much this charger will cost consumers, so stay tuned.

 

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  • I am not a huge fan of wireless chargers. They are just too electrically inefficient to justify the perceived convenience. To me, you save less than a second of time just to waste more energy.

    I dunno, maybe in due time these will get more inefficient.
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  • * meant to say, In due time these will get more efficient
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  • Resonance charging is just a special case of induction where the coupled inductors operate at their resonant frequency rather than at whatever frequency the spec says the charger must operate at.

    As far as efficiency goes, there aren't any miracles to be had there. Magnetic fields disperse very badly without magnetic material to keep it focused so the moment you have air or plastic between the transmitter and receiver losses become very significant.

    While I am not much of a fan of wireless charging, it does have the merit of not having to worry about yanking or wearing down a connector when plugging in only for charging, which I have no doubt some people would appreciate.
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