Prepare to relive the charging nightmare

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Right now, I have six different mobile device chargers in my desk drawer.  Three are for cell phones, one is for a bluetooth, another is for a Nintendo DS, and the last is for an Mp3 player.  They are my old comrades, the friends I depended on to keep my electronic tools alive.  All use different tips yet they all do the same thing, charge my mobile devices.  Go back 3 or 4 years, and you might remember the massive mobile device battlefield.  Chargers, chargers everywhere.  If you had a phone, you needed a charger.  Had an Ipod?  You would need a different charger for that.  What about a bluetooth headset to go with your phone?  Again, you will need a different charger for that. Do you get the picture?  In the past, almost every single phone manufacture used their proprietary charging tip.  Samsung had their own flat tip, LG had a similar flat tip with smaller surface, Sony had a strange design going for their Sony Ericsson models, and we of course had Apple with their classic Ipod charger.

Micro USB to the left and Regular USB to the right.
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Nowadays, things are a bit better.  Many phone manufactures such as Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung have agreed to use a standard phone charger, resulting in the fabulous Micro-USB tip that I personally love.  But that was then, and now we the same problems will occur again soon.  In the Nov. 12-18 2012 issue of Businessweek, Olga Kharif warns the readers about new technologies causing the same problems we experienced 5 years ago.  About a year ago, manufacturers such as Powermat began selling technology that allowed consumers to charge their cellphones without using a power plug via a wireless pad.  Although I personally found this idea fascinating, existing phones needed to buy an extra case capable of receiving a charge through the charging pad.  As such, the devices did not become popular enough to gain traction.

An example of a wireless charging pad that did not gain traction.
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With new technologies, manufactures have vowed to begin selling wireless charging accessories as well as build phones with built-in wireless charging capabilities.  Great news right?  No more buying expensive cables because the pins broke from too much roughhousing, right?  Wrong.  Powermat, Google, and Samsung all are developing their own wireless charging technologies and guess what, they are all different from each other.  Buying a phone that uses one technology will not ensure that it will work on another wireless charging pad.  In addition to those three companies, LG Electronics, Energizer, and Nokia have made an alliance to promote Qi, which is another wireless charging technology that is already installed in some phones.  Soon, we will see new wireless charging technologies and we will experience the same problem we had five years ago, the lack of a standard.  Which company will prevail will be anyone’s guess, but till then the only winners will be the phone manufactures developing these technologies.

What about Apple?  Recently, they have come out with the Iphone 5 that has the new lightning cable to charge the phone.  So far, there has been no news as to whether Apple will make its own wireless charging technology or support an already existing technology.  Whichever decision Apple makes, you can be sure that Apple’s input will have tremendous weight in deciding the wireless charging standard.

What are your thoughts on the lack of wireless charging standard?  Do you support the use of just one universal wireless charging technology or are you more in favor of the regular cell phone cable chargers?  Give us you input by commenting below.


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