If you ask someone today, “What could make charging something you own better?” More than likely, most would respond with the option to do it wirelessly. Now, some smartphone companies have implemented this into their designs and they work quite well. Samsung is one of the main supporters, building this into their Galaxy line of phones starting with the S6.
One company wants to change the way we think about wireless charging. Using something they call Surface Energy, Zii Energy is looking to issue a game changer in wireless charging. By using conduction rather than induction, they are able to offer faster, more efficient charging and worry free placement by using an open source solution called OpenDots. This system uses metal conduct points on the outside of cases and devices.
Current Wireless Charging
When something is charged wirelessly, it is traditionally done so by a process called induction. This process uses an electromagnetic field between the device and the charger. Energy is transmitted through an electromagnetic coupling and that can be used to charge the device. This is made possible by a coil that is in the device and in the charger. The primary coil in the charger induces a current in the secondary coil in the device being charged.
But one thing that has plagued users of wireless charging is placement of the device on the charging surface. Alignment can be difficult to say the least. If you misalign by just a little, the device may get a little charge, or none at all. Another thing is the time. It can take the same amount of time to charge your phone by a regular charging cable as it does wirelessly. So, efficiency can suffer as well.
Another thing you have to take into consideration is heat. The electromagnetic coils can, and do, generate heat. Usually, it is nothing to be concerned with, as long as you use your wireless charging device with the pad or stand that was included. However, if you need to use a different pad, that can lead to problems. I used a charging pad with my Moto 360 and it got so hot that I could not put it on my wrist until it cooled down.
Zii Surface Energy
With Zii, worrying about alignment is not an issue. The reason is because of their charging method. By using conductive charging by way of the OpenDots system, it doesn’t matter where you place your device on the power pad. You also don’t have to worry about charging only one device at a time. The power pad is capable of charging multiple devices at a time, without any overheating issues.
But this is not only for phones. According to the CEO Mitch Randall, “Anyone can charge a phone. Zii Surface Energy was meant to power almost anything that runs on electricity.” That means you don’t need to have chargers for other electronics—this is for more than just mobile devices.
That’s what is fascinating about Zii. It is quite diverse when it comes to what it can charge. Equipment such as phones, battery packs for power tools, drones, and even laptops can be charged with the Surface Energy: at the same time.
Check out their campaign on Kickstarter for more information.