Wireless Charging: Neat, But It’s Still an Electric Car

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to things like mobile technology, and it isn’t uncommon for friends and family to seek out my advice on things like cell phones, tablets and even computer purchases. One such incident took place almost two years ago, when my mom announced she needed a new cell phone.

Her specified needs consisted of two things. She wanted a full QWERTY keyboard to make texting with her children and grandchildren easy. But the one feature she kept insisting she wanted was wireless charing. Nothing else (other than the aforementioned QUERTY keyboard) seemed to matter to her except for that lone feature, and there aren’t many choices on the market that offer charging sans cord, at least not as a standard feature.

But, Palm – since purchased by Hewlett-Packard, and for the most part, now defunct – had a couple of models, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, that both offered wireless charging right out of the box through a Touchstone dock. You simply place the phone down on the dock, and voila, electricity flows into it. She went with the Pixi Plus at the time, and to this day, thinks the wireless charging feature is the best feature of the phone, hands down.

Needless to say, when Qualcomm, who is one of the biggest players in wireless and cellular business thanks to their chipsets and radios, announced it had purchased all of the technology and other assets of HaloIPT, a leading provider of wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles, it caught my attention.

HaloIPT’s technology uses wireless induction. All a driver has to do to start the charging process on their electric car is to drive over a mat or charging pole. There’s no need to pull out a cable and plug it into a car.

As of right now, we’ve no clue as to what Qualcomm’s endgame is with this new acquisition. They may simply be strengthening their patent portfolio, or they may be diving headfirst into the electric car business.

We think if automakers bring Qualcomm’s tech to market it would certainly make things easier for folks who choose to drive alternative fuel cars. But they’re still electric cars, with their limited range and long charging times. We’d much rather see driving ranges extended and charging times lowered, but this is interesting tech.

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