AirFuel Alliance Busts the False Myths About Wireless Power

The AirFuel Alliance, the authority on next-generation wireless power technology and standards, has announced that it is now addressing and challenging the misinformation and largely false news and facts related to wireless power. While first-generation technology has provided an introduction to wireless power, it has some major limitations. Second-generation technologies like resonant and RF address those limitations and deliver a better end-user experience, without added cost or complexity.

2019 promises to be a tipping point for Wireless Power 2.0, so in the interests of starting the year off right, AirFuel has addressed some of the most common wireless power myths:

MYTH 1: Wireless Power is Slow

REALITY: With magnetic resonance, the charging speed is only limited by the device-side battery-charging system (which is common for both wireless and wired charging). So there's no difference in charging speeds for wired and wireless charging, meaning magnetic resonance delivers on the promise of fast charging.

MYTH 2: Wireless Power Doesn't Deliver a Great End-User Experience

REALITY:  Many products today are charged via inductive technology that requires the device to be in direct contact with the source (e.g., precise alignment between phone and charging pad). That still tethers consumers to a specific spot if they want to use their device while it's charging – and means you can't charge more than one device at a time. Second generation – or Wireless 2.0 – technologies like magnetic resonance and RF allow for charging at a distance, through materials like wooden tables or marble counters, and enable you to charge multiple devices (of different shapes and sizes and requiring different charging speeds) at the same time – delivering a decidedly better experience.

MYTH 3: Wireless Power isn't Safe

REALITY:  The electric and magnetic fields specified as part of the AirFuel Standard are below established and long-standing human safety limits, which are often specified by regional regulatory bodies like the FCC. It's important to note that these regulations encompass all electromagnetic consumer devices, including Bluetooth headphones, cell phones, and wireless routers.

MYTH 4: Wireless Power Heats Up Everyday Metal Objects (Like Keys, Coins, Etc.)

REALITY:  This isn't true – if using magnetic resonance or RF solutions. The AirFuel Alliance utilizes electromagnetic waves at 6.78 MHz, which will not heat up most common metal objects, even those in close quarters to the device like coins or car keys.

MYTH 5: Wireless Power Can't be Integrated Into Devices With Metal Housings

REALITY:  Devices with metal housings can be charged via magnetic resonance or RF even if the device needs higher frequency magnetic fields, as it takes advantage of apertures and seams that may already be present in the housing. This gives designers the freedom to express themselves and integrate magnetic resonance or RF into products with metal casings.

MYTH 6: Wireless Power Technology Limits Product Design -- Making Items Bulkier or Heavier

REALITY: Magnetic resonance and RF do not limit design. While first generation inductive relegates the charging pad to a flat, two-dimensional surface form factor, magnetic resonance can be implemented on thin, flexible printed-circuit boards or formed into three-dimensional shapes, minimizing impact to product design and shape.  Wireless power also allows designers to eliminate the charging port on products, allowing added protection against water, dust, and sweat. With next-gen wireless power, designers have the flexibility and freedom to create unique form factors to deliver the best user experience.

MYTH 7: Next-Gen Technology Is Too Complex and Expensive For Designers to Build Into a Product

REALITY:  Mature industry standards via the AirFuel Alliance, availability of purpose-built ASICs and associated market reference designs allow OEMs to easily and quickly integrate magnetic resonance in their products and reduce the overall bill-of-materials. Reference designs based on these integrated parts reduce time to market and reduce engineering efforts required.

MYTH 8: Wireless Power Technology Only Works for Consumer Electronics

REALITY:  It's a common misconception that wireless power can only be applied to the consumer electronics space. This may hold true for other forms of wireless power technology, but next-gen solutions are efficient enough to work with high-power equipment such as robots, drones and industrial equipment.

AirFuel Alliance predicts 2019 will be the year that the industry takes a meaningful step forward and transitions from first generation inductive technology to second generation resonant and RF solutions. This shift will allow all to meet growing consumer and business demand and get closer to a world without wires.