Samsung has been one of the most innovative technology companies in the world. It has given us many firsts in smartphone technology. When everybody else was thinking of making smartphones look different from one another, Samsung went ahead and curved the edges of its AMOLED displays.
The South Korean tech-giant was one of the first smartphones to introduce inductive charging aka wireless charging on a smartphone with the Galaxy S4 way back in 2013. Apple didn't have it (wireless charging) until the iPhone 8 last year.
And now, it looks like Samsung is all set to take wireless charging technology to a whole new level with over-the-air (OTA) wireless charging.
A recently released patent document with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reveals that Samsung might be working on OTA wireless charging technology for its upcoming smartphones and tablets.
As the name suggests, OTA wireless charging is, as you might have guessed, charging the phone wirelessly over-the-air without the need for a charging pad on which to place the phone.
Conventional wireless charging technology, as advanced as it may sound, is not actually wireless in every sense of the word. The most common form of modern wireless charging is based on the Qi (spelled Chi) technology that has the charging pad connected to a power outlet and requires the user to place the compatible smartphone onto the charging pad back panel facing down.
But OTA wireless charging is unique in that it can charge your phone even while it is inside your pocket.
How does over-the-air wireless charging work?
Unlike Qi wireless charging, OTA wireless charging has a much larger range that can be as big as a room. The range is available anywhere in the vicinity of the charging unit, and as the compatible device enters the range of the charger, it will start charging it wirelessly over-the-air from a distance. The distance can go up to about a few feet. This means, your phone could get charged even while it is in your hand or inside your pocket, as long as it is within the range.
Meanwhile, critics of the technology suggest that since the charging happens over the air and the power is being transmitted into the air in the form of Radio Frequency (RF), more specifically ultrasound waves, it will take a lot of time to charge the phone to some percentage, let alone fully.
Will Galaxy Note 9 come with wireless charging technology?
The patent was filed by Samsung in 2016. So, Samsung must have made at least some progress in the technology, although a lot of critics suggest OTA wireless charging is at least a few years away from coming into practical use.
The upcoming Galaxy Note 9 is said to come with a lot of new features, including an under-display fingerprint scanner. However, it's too early to judge if it will come with OTA wireless charging at this moment since we do not have enough proof to go about.
And even though it looks like we might be some years from seeing the technology come into everyday use. But with companies like Samsung betting on the technology, it won't be long when we might just see it happen sooner than later. And if not with the Galaxy Note 9, then hopefully the with the radical Galaxy X foldable smartphone.