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back to article 'Wireless charging' in Galaxy S4 will betray Samsung's best pal

Samsung will embrace Qi wireless charging for its highly anticipated Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone, due to emerge on Thursday, we're told. By plumping for Qi, Sammy will betray Qualcomm: both companies are founding members of the Alliance for Wireless Power, which touts an over-the-air charging system called A4WP. This rivals …

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Crikey

I wasn't even aware of the competing standard, but surely if it doesn't require alignment and can work from a short distance away, it's far superior?

There must be some kind of catch. Widespread inductive charging for mobile devices is still early on, I'd hate for the worst standard to win already..

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Anonymous Coward

Digitimes

There needs to be a flag when the source of information is Digitimes.

A symbol to indicate the close relationship to bovine excrement perhaps?

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Re: Digitimes

To quote another Reg reader:

"...verily 'tis the shit of the horse..."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Crikey

Stronger power output required means greater input voltage and much much lower efficiency.

QI isn't that picky about alignment. A few CM either way and it works.

Nokia and Google have gone for QI, so it seems daft to go any other way. QI released guidelines for in-car use too.

You have to put you phone down on a surface to charge it either way, so any distance advantage seems pointless unless you plan on hanging your phone on a piece of string, or holding it in the air for 2 hours.

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Re: Crikey

I think the point was that the phone could charge while still doing something useful (like being the car's GPS unit) without having to dangle wires all over the place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Crikey

@Piro,

The catch is that anything that Qualcomm has had its hands in is not going to be good. Over the years they have screwed company after company over. That is why they find it hard to get anyone to to join them, most have learned the hard way what that partnership will entail.

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Potentially useful but needs a proper standard

If Samsung go one way and Apple another it'll just be a mess.

I know each is trying to achieve lock in of its customers at every point possible but this really is a step too far.

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Re: Potentially useful but needs a proper standard

Hang on, I just need to practise my surprised face when this happens...

There we go. Carry on

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Happy

Re: Potentially useful but needs a proper standard

Wait, you're concerned that Apple will use a proprietary system that's completely incompatible with everyone else's?

Next you'll be concerned that the next Pope will be Catholic

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Facepalm

Re: Potentially useful but needs a proper standard

Apple will use a proprietary system no matter what... you think they will use a... standard????

if samsung are sensible, they will build the wireless charging either into the battery or the case, allowing it to be replaced IF a different standard becomes more popular...

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When the S3 was anounced last year

At the Samsung event they were all raging on about how the S3 will be able to wireless charge (with an accessory) and stream PowerPoint style presentations to a TV with another accessory. I have a Galaxy S3 and i have yet to see any of these accessories....

I will be very annoyed if the S4 comes out with wireless charging before them...

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Re: When the S3 was anounced last year

Isn't the Galaxy S3 a Miracast device? There's your presentations thingy.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: When the S3 was anounced last year

The Miracast look-a-like, for replicating the screen, did eventually emerge:

http://www.clove.co.uk/samsung-allshare-cast-dongle-samsung-galaxy-s3

It's rather nice, though overpriced. Some have complained it drops connections, but I've been using it happily with a Note 10.1 without incident.

Wireless charging, on the other hand, still needs a hack.

Bill.

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Re: When the S3 was anounced last year

There is a wireless charger for the S3. Google it.

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FAIL

Re: When the S3 was anounced last year

Allshare cast dongle...

I don't have one, but its out there.. oh and I think all their new TV's can do it.. still a LITTLE pissed they've not upgraded my TV's firmware to enable it.. but hey I can still throw videos/pictures/music onto my TV via DLNA....

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Mushroom

"it can charge devices from several centimetres away so a charger in a car chair can provide power to the phone in one's pocket"

Erp! Erp! Erp! Exploding Pocket Alert !!!

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Meh

Since I actually know a couple of people who swear they can "feel" wireless networks, I can only assume they would be aghast at the idea of having a wireless transmitter actually in a car seat. Could be amusing pointing that out to them if I don't want to give them a lift somewhere ;)

To be fair though, I am also a little wary of a wireless network that can supply enough energy to charge a phone using me as a medium. My phone comes with a wired charger that exceeds the 500mA USB spec, so it'll need to supply at least that equivalent, and through my soft tissue at that... :/

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Not quite...

"I am also a little wary of a wireless network that can supply enough energy to charge a phone using me as a medium"

It's not using you as a medium. It is using, mostly, air as the medium.

I will accept that if you happen to be in between the charge and the device it would be using you as a medium, it's only in the same way the your phone is using your head as a medium if the base station is on the opposite side to the phone.

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:Since I actually know a couple of people who swear they can "feel" wireless networks..."

See if you can challenge their belief. Take them to a room that's secretly a Faraday cage (or just a very VERY dead wireless zone) and see if they can correctly call it.

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"See if you can challenge their belief. Take them to a room that's secretly a Faraday cage (or just a very VERY dead wireless zone) and see if they can correctly call it."

A group of us went to a cottage in Yorkshire, miles from anywhere. A friend's now ex-girlfriend was 'WiFi sensitive' (and also allergic to magnesium, the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body, apparently).

I remember her saying how much clearer her head felt without all that wireless interference. As I downloaded a book onto my Kindle from the MiFi sitting no more than 2 feet from the back of her head.....

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LOL. Magnificent. What a stupid moo.

Did you end up having sex with her?

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Mushroom

isn't the tech based on magnetic resonance? and well... surely an MRI uses WAY stronger magnetic fields, and that produces no harm to the staff or patients....

If its RF based, then well.. .we're DOOMED I tell you! oh wait... ...

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May the best technology win

VHS, Betamax, V2000...

'nuff said

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Re: May the best technology win

Errr, remind me, which was the best out of those?

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Headmaster

"Errr, remind me, which was the best out of those?"

In terms of quality, Betamax. VHS survived because it was a bit cheaper.

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Re: May the best technology win

Technologically, Betamax was superior. Unfortunately, only Sony and Sanyo made the devices then because Sony's licensing terms were too strict. VHS came out ahead because JVC was more open to licensing, so more companies could jump in. Also, the VHS cartridge was larger, enabling it to fit more tape (twice as much if memory serves me right). This enabled feature-length films to fit even when recorded at top (Super Play--SP) quality. In contrast, top quality for Betamax (B-I, IIRC) only allowed for an hour, so feature films had to use the lower-quality half-speed mode.

PS. Rumors that the porn industry helped turn the war remain just that--rumors. Most experts agree licensing and VHS's larger cassette size seized the day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Errr, remind me, which was the best out of those?"

I thought the reason VHS won was

1) It was cheaper

2) Sony refused to let the porn industry use Betamax. The porn industry realised the demand for home videos and wanted higher quality for those touching never to be missed scenes but Sony refused to license the movies or something like that.

I recall the porn industry in the US is about twice the size of the more normal film industry, [No pun intended].

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Errr, remind me, which was the best out of those?"

Wrong, Video 2000 was the best.

It used metal oxide tapes, you could flip them over like a compact cassette. It had a proper still frame using both video fields (Beta and VHS could only show one).

Noise reduction, auto tracking, data track on the tape (subtitles etc), fast forwarding without lots of noise on screen, half speed mode (on later model) which increased record time to 8 hours per size, 16 hours using both sides of the tape.

VHS and beta are just shockingly crap compared to Video 2000. But there was a problem on early machines, a lack of pre-recorded titles and its high price too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: May the best technology win

"PS. Rumors that the porn industry helped turn the war remain just that--rumors"

They certainly were not rumours. Without doubt porn was available on VHS in a volume that simply wasn't available on Betamax (if it was available at all on Betamax). I think you mean to say it can be debated if porn was the decisive factor. There is no doubt however that it was a factor.

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Re: May the best technology win

I don't remember porn industry declared their support to VHS. It just happened that way. VHS was cheaper and with more content. I suddenly realize Android will win the war in the same manner: so many phones to choose from, and cheaper.

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Re: May the best technology win

But whether it was a SIGNIFICANT factor can be questioed. Playboy produced their soft porn on Betamax, and there were studios that hedged their bets. Besides, any porn that was only an hour long could take advantage of Betamax's full-quality recording mode. Truth is, though Sony didn't like it, they couldn't control the distribution of porn since they had no say in the tapes once they left the factory. And according to statistics, porn sales and rentals weren't exactly the meat and potatoes of the rental industry. It helped, but the biggest lineups were the mainstream films. The big factors that won the war for VHS were easy availability and bigger spools (feature films could fit a VHS at full speed but had to use half-speed on Betamax). Plus the quality bonus of Betamax was lost on the typical 80's TV (especially in the US where the usual link was through the RF connector). This might have been a strike against V2000 as well--"good enough" won out.

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Re: "Errr, remind me, which was the best out of those?"

> Wrong, Video 2000 was the best.

What he said.

We had one of the early recorders with Nicam Stereo decoding/recording builtin.

The quality was superb.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think you mean to say it can be debated if porn was the decisive factor.

Mass debated you mean?

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Re: "Errr, remind me, which was the best out of those?"

"Wrong, Video 2000 was the best."

And it remains a shining example of what happens if you're _far_ too late to the party.

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Coat

@AC 23:22 Re: I think you mean to say it can be debated if porn was the decisive factor.

."Mass debated you mean?"

Ooooh, we have a cunning linguist in our midst!

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Happy

Wireless charging?

...is it really that big a deal..?

<Fast forwards in the time machine>

Oh. Ok, never mind.

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Is distance charging really such a good idea?

My University professor of high frequency electronics/ RF engineering would frequently tell us that even he would only use his mobile phone sparingly as the health concerns were unknown.

Wireless power over distance sounds even more dubious in terms of unknown consequences of health to me.

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Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

Give me convenience or give me death!

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Childcatcher

Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

And. You are broadcasting power and most of that will disappear into the void so a miniscule percentage will get into the object you wish to charge. Efficiency requires coupling and this is what you do not have with distance charging.

It might work but whilst the rest of us are trying to save the planet it is a load of phooey.

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Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

Exactly! It's only a relatively small amount of power, but multiply that by the billions of these things, permanently plugged in, that will eventually be made, and we're talking about a lot of power stations.

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Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

My HP Touchstone wireless charger uses 0.0W when the tablet is not on the dock. Same for the USB charger when no device is plugged.

Either HP is very smart at this, or tech has moved on and detects when a device is present. My bet is at the latter.

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Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

"My University professor of high frequency electronics/ RF engineering would frequently tell us that even he would only use his mobile phone sparingly as the health concerns were unknown."

YMMV but I'd have paid rather more attention to what the BIOLOGISTS thought.

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Devil

"Give me convenience or give me death!"

Shouldn't that be "give me convenience *and* give me death"?

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Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

> My HP Touchstone wireless charger uses 0.0W when the tablet is

> not on the dock.

That's not the interesting number. What we need to know is how many W are going into the battery vs. how many W are being turned into heat in the coils at either end or in the intervening medium.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

"Give me convenience or give me death!"

The sooner the better.

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Re: Is distance charging really such a good idea?

In the "near-field" for RF coupling, with a resonant antenna, it's not the case that power is broadcast into the distance. You can get 80%+ efficiency. Basically the inverse square law doesn't apply until you get several antenna-lengths away from the antenna.

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Re: "Give me convenience or give me death!"

That depends on where you take your holiday.

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Unhappy

Still waiting

For that wireless S3 charger. They better hurry up!

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FAIL

Re: Still waiting

Surely someone must have sued them by now?! ;o)

I'm still not convinced of the point of the current wireless charging standards anyway. What's the betting that the next innovation from a charging mat is one with a stand built in. They'll probably call it... a "dock"! Oh, wait... :o\

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Charger in the car seat?!

Won't that be like sitting in a microwave oven? Admittedly, set at low power...

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