In the latest bid to paint wireless charging as fast and simple, Qualcomm has slightly altered its charging pads to rejuvenate devices with metal cases.
Qualcomm takes advantage of the Rezence wireless charging standard, which uses magnetic resonance between inductive couplers to charge devices over short distances. The new standard makes that connection using the 6.78 megahertz spectrum, which suffers less inference from metal objects than other frequency bands.
The spectrum is already used in a limited way to allow keys and coins to stay close to the charging pad without scrambling signals. Qualcomm's newest charging pads extend that concept to gadgets with metal cases, solving a major shortcoming of the technology, said Steve Pazol, Qualcomm’s general manager of wireless charging.
“Building a wireless charging solution into devices with metal exteriors is a significant step forward for moving the entire industry,” Pazol said in a statement. The Rezence standard can be used to to charge smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices.
The Rezence standard can transmits up to 50 watts of wireless power to devices. It is capable of powering multiple gadgets without precise alignment or direct physical contact, though the device cannot be further than 5 centimeters from the charging pad.
Qualcomm was one of the founding members of the Alliance for Wireless Power, which drafted the standard and recently merged with Power Matters Alliance, another standard bearer for wireless charging. Both compete with the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi standard, which recently received an upgrade to support fast wireless charging for phones.