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Here's Why There's a Buzz About LG's 15 W Wireless Charging Pad

AFP Relaxnews

First published: October 14, 2016, 2:57 PM IST | Updated: October 14, 2016
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Here's Why There's a Buzz About LG's 15 W Wireless Charging Pad
LG 15W Wireless Charging Pad. (Image: LG Innoteck)

Could LG's faster-working wireless charging pad speed up the technology's move into the mainstream?

The LG 15 W charging pad is three times faster than most existing devices and accessories on the market. According to its makers -- LG's R&D arm Innotek -- the pad can add 50% battery life to a contemporary smartphone in just 30 minutes; that means that users who usually plug their devices in for a quick charge shouldn't notice the time difference.

For safety reasons, wireless charging pads tend to run at around 5W. Pushing electricity to a device too quickly can lead to overheating and even a battery explosion. The new pad triples the power to 15W but thanks to integrated sensors that monitor temperature changes, this supercharging can be delivered safely.

What's more it supports the Wireless Power Consortium's QI charging standard, which is the oldest and most used form of wireless charging technology. There are currently over 100 smartphone models on sale that are QI compatible and even companies like IKEA and Audi are integrating QI pads into their products.

Sung Huh, a head of Innotek's electronic components business division, said, "We proved that we had the world best wireless charging technology."

That may be so, but wireless charging in the smartphone world is a little like the hydrogen fuel cell in the realm of the automobile. It promises to be the technology of tomorrow, but tomorrow never seems to come.

Until now, speed has been a major issue, especially as handsets from Motorola and LG that use the latest Qualcomm technology can be plugged in and charged to 50% in under 30 minutes.

And while this breakthrough looks to have solved that problem, there is still the issue of competing standards -- there are several forms of wireless charging technology -- plus the fact that with the exception of the Apple Watch, Apple is yet to commit to the technology. However, when it does launch an iPhone or iPad with native wireless charging support, then tomorrow will have arrived.

Nevertheless, the LG 15W pad, when it officially goes on sale, could prove to be a big step towards that day when the biggest problem plaguing most smartphone owners -- battery life -- is finally solved.

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