By Adam Z. Lein | December 6, 2012 8:30 AM
We were very impressed with the wireless charging dock when we first used the original Palm Pre in 2009, and now that a real wireless charging standard has started showing up in numerous smartphones these days, it’s time to look ahead towards the future a little bit. Sure, being able to simply set your phone down on a charging plate at the end of the day to let it recharge its battery over night is a pretty excellent feature. It’s especially convenient if you’re still using your phone in bed with the lights out since you can build motor memory for the “charging spot” location and set it down without looking so you can be sure to have a full battery in the morning.
Some of us are often road warriors who find ourselves far away from charging spots for much longer than today’s smartphones can endure. For many years, I’ve remedied this problem with an external USB battery pack that I keep in my jacket or backpack when I know I’m going to be away from electricity for a while. I’ll thread a USB charging wire through the jacket to a more-accessible pocket where I’ll normally keep the phone. Our own Micheal Fisher suggests this route even just to help out with all of those new phones that just don’t have removable batteries (and thinks you should stop complaining about them.)
One of the most annoying thing about external battery chargers is having to run a wire from the charger to your phone… and then keep that wire in there in order to charge it. What if I need to look at my phone to respond to a text message? I’ve got to take it out of that pocket and this big wire comes out along with it, which I either have to keep tethered and try to hold the phone that way, or unplug it, access my phone, then fumble with plugging it back in. Such a hassle!
So why not make some pockets that have Qi wireless charging plates sewn into them and plug those into a separate pocket with whatever capacity external USB battery charger you feel like getting? This type of charging pocket would probably work best in a jacket since you don’t have to wash those too often. A breast pocket could be made to allow a phone to settle horizontally and align properly with a wireless charging plate. Of course, you would have to remember to put the phone in your pocket with the proper side facing towards the wireless charging plate (unless the pocket had charging plates on both sides, but that seems like overkill.) It wouldn’t even have to be sewn in. There could be just a velcro attachment or even an inner pocket where the electronics could be inserted. A USB cable could easily be routed to a different part of the jacket where you could keep your high-capacity external battery of choice. I wouldn’t mind buying pants that accommodate wireless charging pockets either… perhaps with a belt made of high-capacity rechargeable batteries.
Anyway, think about how great it would be to know that every time you take your phone out of your pocket, it will be fully charged! It’s not doing anything special while it’s in your pocket anyway… might as well recharge the battery. (For the ladies out there who never use pockets, someone would need to build a wireless charging pocket kit for purses.)
Does this sound like some useful technology for the future?