Definition

inductive charging

Inductive charging is a wireless charging method used for mid-sized items such as cell phones, MP3 players and PDAs. High-end electric toothbrushes and waterproof vibrating razors were among the first products to use induction charging.

In inductive charging, an adapter equipped with contact points is attached to the device's back plate. When the device requires a charge, it is placed on a conductive charging pad. Once the contact points come in contact with the conductive surface of the charging pad, a small current moves through the coils of the charging pad, creating a small magnetic field which is gathered by the contact points of the adapter and converted into energy. The energy gathered is transferred to the device's battery as efficiently as if the device were connected to a wall socket with its regular wired adapter.

A company called Wildcharge Inc. has developed a 15 X 40 cm charging pad with a conductive surface and a 90 watt capacity as well as an adapter with 5-6 contact points. Wildcharge has manufactured adapters for the Motorola Razr V3 cell phone and will soon introduce adapters for the Blackberry Smart Phone and Apple's iPhone, iPod Nano and iPod Touch.

Splashpower, another company using inductive technology, has developed their own charging pads, called "Splashpads" which are malleable and extremely portable. Splashpads work in conjunction with a sub-millimeter thin receiver that can be modified for a device of any size, shape or physical configuration. The receiver can be attached to a device or embedded directly into it to protect the device from environmental hazards such as water damage or corrosion.

See also: resonance charging, radio charging

This was last updated in March 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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