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Wireless charging as a whole is still in its infancy but is making progress nevertheless. A team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have improved upon an existing wireless charging protocol to more than triple its effective range.
Wireless charging as we know it today requires a device - a smartphone, for example - to be within an inch or so of the charging base. The system that the Korean team has come up with can work over a distance of more than 15 feet. It's certainly impressive but it isn't exactly ready for mainstream use just yet.
If you recall, researchers at MIT came up with a wireless charging solution in 2007 called the Coupled Magnetic Resonance System. This system was able to beam power wirelessly over a distance of around five feet and served as the basis for the latest development.
The Koreans developed a new mechanism called the Dipole Coil Resonant System to specifically solve the shortcomings of MIT's system. It relies on a coil with two magnetic dipoles, one to induce a magnetic field and the other to receive the electrical power.
How much power the system can deliver and how efficient it is all depends on how close the target device is to the primary and secondary coils. At around three feet, the system can transmit just over 1,400 watts at 36.9 percent efficiency. When moved to a distance of 15 feet, the system can only beam 209 watts at a paltry 9.2 percent effiency.
The design is said to be slimmer than previous attempts but even still, it's not exactly something fit for the home - yet.