Inductive Charging Is Not ‘Wireless’

In the wake of the previous item, allow me a brief rant on the word wireless. Merriam-Webster:

having no wire or wires; specifically : operating by means of transmitted electromagnetic waves a wireless remote

I like New Oxford American’s definition even better:

using radio, microwaves, etc. (as opposed to wires or cables) to transmit signals

Wi-Fi is wireless. No one would accept wireless as a description for an internet connection that required the device to be in physical contact with a charger, even if it were magnetic rather than a port you plug a cable into.

So Apple Watch, for example, does not use wireless charging. Apple describes it perfectly as “magnetic charging”. It sounds like this is what might be in store for the next iPhone. That’d be cool — but it wouldn’t be as cool as being able to charge over the air.

If we call inductive charging “wireless” now, what are we going to call it when it really is wireless in a few years?

Thursday, 15 June 2017