"wireless charging is just going to waste more electricity for a small trade off in convenience?"
Except that the user won't see it as a *small* increase in convenience.
Like most folks, I have a lot of devices that need to be charged. Every one seems to have a different charger and power connector, and I have a drawer full of chargers with stick on labels so I know what they are intended to charge. I'd love a one-size-fits-all charger that can adapt to what the device wants to see, and devices that can use it.
The "waste" of electricity would be a tiny price to pay.
The magnetic resonance method is interesting. Although the inductive method used by Qi is electrostatic induction, not to be confused with electromagnetic induction, it is really just a modernization of Nikola Tesla's early 20th century work with improved efficiency coming from the use of much higher frequencies.
Nobody seems to mention/talk about the efficiency which happens to be really poor. Very very poor. The real convenience should start with a universal wired charger adopted by all manufacturers so we don't get a new charger every 18 months with our new smartphones. A4WP or WPC, who cares, they all require coils on both sides, additional hardware and cost for a mediocre performance and energy waste for what? Showing off by saying your phone is charging in your pocket while driving? I'll pass.
I waste tons of electricity because of all the chargers I need to keep plugged in, and the inconvenience of unplugging those not in use (or even figuring out which ones they are, with cables all over the place).
Beyond that, one of the purposes of energy is to make things convenient. If you want to live in an inconvenient world, fine by me - but don't make me do the same in the name of some green god.
As anyone who has ever designed a transformer (B/H field coupling) or capacitor(E field coupling) knows that fractions of a millimeter in the windings can make a huge difference in the coupling. So yes, if a handheld product can be designed so that the space between charger and pick-up coil or plate is on the order of 0.5mm or less, reasonable efficiency can be obtained.
Define reasonable efficiency. Note that Qualcomm's standard does not mandate a distance between the Rx and Tx coils. Its "advantage" is that there are no such constraints and the handsets can be positioned "casually" within several 10s of centimeters. WPC does but then you're back to the "mat".
I really do not see a bright future with wireless charging when compared with its counterpart, USB charging.
1) It needs additional hardware. Costwise, it will be more expensive.
2) The efficiency is poorer. Not environmental friendly. ( Note that almost every two years, there are tighter energy standards for power adaptors/chargers. The performance of wireless charging is far behind that)
3) The future improvement is limited. Since it operates with primary coupling coil and secondary coupling coil separated, this inherently leads to a lower efficiency and incur a lot of limitations. This is a constraint by physics.
4) Business model is another question. For a comodity USB adapter, one may get it with just a few USD and it can be used for a lot of devices. For wireless charging, one need to pay a higher premium for the transmitter and then, the lower cost on the receiver. The first seller to include the transmitter will add that cost to his own device ( while lowering the cost of the other portable devices ). Who does that? By the way, there are a lot of different standards, when I buy my computer with a transmitter of "A" standard but the phone I use is of "B" standard. Will I pay something extra unnecessarily ( for unused "A" transmitter? Or should I change to use a phone with "A" standard?
I am rooting for solar/light for both power and data. It'd be quite nice to just have PE cells that can capture extremely low level ambient light and PE cells that are fed into filters for the data path and wires are gone and much of the RF along with it.
Light is a wonderful broad-spectrum resource and we are troubled without it. Let's use it better!
Doesn't make much sense to me, since we are unable to "hold" our phones anyway. It seems the more logical approach is to have a universal dock. Motorola has been trying to do that of late with there various models. Sound, microphone, power, etc. are easily be accommodated with a microusb plug.