NFC wireless charging is finally here but don’t get your hopes up too high

JC Torres - May 6, 2020, 8:53 pm CDT
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NFC wireless charging is finally here but don’t get your hopes up too high

Wireless charging has finally become more known and accepted in the mobile market but it’s still far from the universally-available convenience we imagine it to be. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement and competition but most of those focus on high-wattage technologies on high-end phones. That, unfortunately, leaves a lot of phones, accessories, and consumers out of the party, something that the curators of NFC technology are trying to change with its new Wireless Charging Specification or NFC WLC.

The extremely short range of wireless NFC communication allows not only for the transfer of data but also of power. That has been the idea behind some devices that try to utilize the technology to deliver power in extremely small sips. This NFC wireless charging, in fact, peaks at 1W only.

That’s a far cry from the lowest 5 watts of power supported by the Qi wireless charging standard so why even bother with that? NFC, however, has two things that Qi charging doesn’t have: ubiquity and economy. While most wireless charging technologies require special hardware like wireless charging coils, any phone, even mid-range ones, will be able to support NFC WLC.

That 1-watt power might be enough to power IoT devices or even charge wireless earbuds. Of course, NFC covers more than just phones and the applications for this wireless charging go beyond mobile. That said, it can even help the likes of Samsung and Huawei who have their own reverse wireless charging features as they can finally support charging their earbuds on their NFC-enabled mid-range phones.

This new standard could also give way to a new generation of power-sipping devices for various use cases. There is already an e-paper display that uses NFC to transfer both data and power in short bursts. The NFC Wireless Charging Specification could, in turn, support a more continuous stream of power that could keep such devices charged far longer while still being energy efficient.


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