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A new NFC specification announced this week by the NFC Froum will allow future NFC enabled devices to offer wireless charging capabilities, which means a smartphone could be used to charge a small accessory like headphones.

airpods-apple-watch-duo.jpg

According to the NFC Forum, the Wireless Charging Specification (WLC) will allow smartphones or other NFC charging devices to wirelessly charge small, battery-powered consumer and IoT devices at a power transfer rate of up to one watt.

The 1W rating is much slower than the Qi-based standard used by iPhones and other smartphones. Qi-based wireless charging on the iPhone maxes out at 7.5W, but is even faster on some Android devices.

Charging over NFC would require new hardware, and it's not a feature that can be added to existing devices. The NFC Forum believes the WLC specification could be used to complement Qi-based wireless charging.

It works using a single antenna to manage communications and charging, which is convenient for low-power devices like smart watches, fitness trackers, and earbuds that already use NFC for connectivity because there's no need to build in Qi support.
"The NFC Forum's Wireless Charging Technical Specification allows for wireless charging of small battery-powered devices like those found in many of the estimated 36 billion IoT devices in use today," said Koichi Tagawa, chair, NFC Forum. "NFC wireless charging is truly transformative because it changes the way we design and interact with small, battery-powered devices as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices."
Apple in 2015 joined the NFC Forum and participates in the approval of new NFC specifications and developments.

Rumors in 2019 suggested that Apple was working on bilateral wireless charging that would allow its iPhones to charge the AirPods and the Apple Watch, but the feature was ultimately nixed. At the time, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the two-way wireless charging feature Apple was exploring did not meet Apple's requirements.

Samsung has implemented bilateral wireless charging in its smartphones, but the Wireless PowerShare option does not use NFC and is powered by the Qi-based charging coils in the device. Samsung's smartphones can charge other smartphones or accessories like headphones that support Qi wireless chargers.

Article Link: New NFC Specification Will Let Smartphones Charge Small Devices
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
27,621
15,867
Gotta be in it to win it
Interesting standard. Competition with QI is a good thing. The question will Apple implement this. And what happened to bilateral wireless charging? There was a big hulabaloo about it and poof.
 

Attirex

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
746
1,855
"....as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices."

And creates an ever-growing mountain of gadget, battery, and electronic waste. #wall-e #buynlarge
 
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dannyyankou

macrumors G4
Mar 2, 2012
10,879
21,712
Westchester, NY
So it’ll take 10 hours to charge an airpods case. What’s even the point, lol

Edit: Nevermind, I thought the airpods case charges at 5W, it’s really 2.5W. It would still be very slow with 1W.
 

Jack Delgado

macrumors regular
May 11, 2012
135
263
"....as the elimination of plugs and cords enables the creation of smaller, hermetically-sealed devices."

And creates an ever-growing mountain of gadget, battery, and electronic waste. #wall-e #buynlarge

The flaw with this is that I'm not convinced that prior to devices not being sealed as described that the mainstream population was any more responsible with their purchases.
 

tkukoc

Cancelled
Sep 16, 2014
1,533
1,915
It makes sense to charge at that low rate, means the device wouldn't overheat.. which is part of the reason why Apple didn't release airpower. I myself can't see me switching to a port-less device for a long long time.. at least 4 to 5 years simply because copying files is still not nearly as far as direct plugin. So until that gets a nice kick in the butt.. i'll stick with cables for charging and large data transfer.
 
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torontotim

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2019
115
207
I think there is a key point missing here. Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

So imagine your Airpods being charged, or at least the case, from your phone while your Airpod case is in your pocket and your phone is in your hand.

Wireless, contact-free charging. So the time it takes is of course much less relevant.

Now, imagine an NFC charging transmitter on your desk, charging everything in range. Your phone, your earbuds...
 

4jasontv

macrumors 603
Jul 31, 2011
5,150
6,085
Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

It's cool idea for airpods, but this would be huge for the Apple Watch. You could make the device thinner and lighter offloading some of the battery to your iPhone. Or, at the very least, you could recharge the Apple Watch while you wear it in bed.
 

Stevie jobz 2.0

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2019
199
163
I think there is a key point missing here. Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

So imagine your Airpods being charged, or at least the case, from your phone while your Airpod case is in your pocket and your phone is in your hand.

Wireless, contact-free charging. So the time it takes is of course much less relevant.

Now, imagine an NFC charging transmitter on your desk, charging everything in range. Your phone, your earbuds...
You are happy with all the electricity flying through the air, past your head, through your dangly bits?
 

Mdracer

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2016
150
800
I love the addition of new standards: To confuse the masses and make family interactions awkward when one asks for a charger and the other looks them down on them because they are not on the same platform.
 

anek007

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2014
181
174
I think there is a key point missing here. Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

So imagine your Airpods being charged, or at least the case, from your phone while your Airpod case is in your pocket and your phone is in your hand.

Wireless, contact-free charging. So the time it takes is of course much less relevant.

Now, imagine an NFC charging transmitter on your desk, charging everything in range. Your phone, your earbuds...
I think there is a key point missing here. Assumption on my part, but I expect the whole point of this is no contact is required.

So imagine your Airpods being charged, or at least the case, from your phone while your Airpod case is in your pocket and your phone is in your hand.

Wireless, contact-free charging. So the time it takes is of course much less relevant.

Now, imagine an NFC charging transmitter on your desk, charging everything in range. Your phone, your earbuds...

NFC stands for near field communication. It’s contact less but range is only 50-100mm with most nfc devices. Highly doubt nfc will ever be long range. NFC has been in iPhones for over 5 years and Apple barely open up only to recent iPhones and iOS 13.
The Apple Watch doesn’t even use the standard Qi charging but a modified proprietary version. Would love to juice my Apple watch from my iPhone. Even if I can get 10-20% it helps get through my 2nd day when I forget to put the watch on the charger at night.
 

shyam09

macrumors 68020
Oct 31, 2010
2,191
2,418
Better than nothing, I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Handy for small top ups.
But wouldn’t bilateral charging solve that?

I can’t really imagine a situation where this is something you need, especially at 1W charging.

That being said, I do believe this will allow up to further explore more uses of this technology. It’s a good step towards something better.
 

torontotim

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2019
115
207
You are happy with all the electricity flying through the air, past your head, through your dangly bits?

You're being PUMMELED with all manner of radiation passing through all your bits, some danglier than others.

Some higher energy field that excites a coil on the other end is the least of my concerns.
[automerge]1588970575[/automerge]
Looks like with a proper antenna, NFC range is 20cm. So yeah, I'd just as soon have a multi-coil charging mat to slap my phone and other devices down and charge at 7.5w or better than have a truly wireless 1w charge at 8 inches or so of max range.

But the idea is interesting if the charging is in fact at the full 20cm range. If omnidirectional, that's actually a 16" radius which on a desk is substantial.

Build one into a laptop, sit your phone close enough to it and it charges. Same with your watch or earbuds. Still not a horrible idea. No stupid charging pads to haul around with you.

Some Apple watch bands don't let you lay the watch flat to charge. This would open up product design allowing the elimination of flat surfaces to house the charging coil...
 
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twinlight

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2016
688
523
This is perfect for the AirTags and similar devices. Maybe for these different fitness devices that are out there like the ring, fitness band or shoe sensor that measures your stride, cadence and so on.
 
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