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How does my car’s wireless smartphone charger work?

How Wireless Smartphone Chargers Work

In a time when cables seem to be more plentiful than cobwebs, it’s easy to understand the desire to declutter. While doing so, you may have come across wireless charging pads. To those of us that know how finnicky wireless things can be (looking at you public Wi-Fi), being able to charge your phone wirelessly seems like a sham. Or at least pretty ineffective. It’s not, though.

Let’s look at how your car’s wireless smartphone charger works.

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How Wireless Charging Works

Wireless charging is achieved via electromagnetic induction. For anyone with an induction stovetop, this is a familiar process. It involves passing current through copper wires coiled around a bar magnet, which creates an electromagnetic field that can transfer voltage nearby. These fields are very small, which is why you have put your phone directly on top of a charging pad to get it to work.

Who Invented It?

Nikola Tesla artistic portrai

The idea for wireless charging has been around for a long time. More than 100 years, surprisingly. It was first conceived by Nikola Tesla, when the transfer of power via electromagnetic field was hypothesized. Since then, technology has evolved greatly, allowing for much more effective wireless charging. While the technology is mostly used to charge smartphones and smartwatches, it is being expanded. Two notable examples of this are IKEA and South Korean public transport. IKEA is developing and producing a line of furniture that have integrated charging stations. South Korea has buses that can be charged on a wireless platform parking space.

Want a Wireless Charging Dock in Your Vehicle?

If you’d like to know if the Mazda or Volkswagen vehicle you’re interested in has a wireless charging bay, give us a call. We can easily check for you. If you’re looking to buy a new vehicle, try our pre-approval process, so you can spend less time at the dealership filling out paperwork and more time doing, well, anything else!