If Apple’s engineers can stick the landing, the next generation of iPhones won’t need to plug into the wall. According to “people familiar with the plans,” Apple wants to offer wireless charging by 2017.

That smartphones can wirelessly receive energy isn’t exactly new — Samsung phones, for instance, can juice up on a charging pad. But Apple wants to do away with specific locations, charging phones within a three-meter radius. After all, Nikola Tesla demonstrated that wireless power transfer was possible in the 20th century.

Imagine, the world free of phone charging cables.

There are still plenty of kinks to work out with wireless charging — the biggest issue being that the farther your device is from a source, the less efficient the power source is. (Apple will, however, be losing out on the lucrative $20-a-pop charging cable market.)

As a technology, wireless charging is in a weird place. Outside the view of most consumers, there’s a quiet battle for industry dominance, as Wired noted in November.

Until the wireless charger equivalent of VHS defeats the wireless charger equivalent of Betamax, walls smooth and unbroken — marred neither by outlet or light switch — won’t be anything but a dream.


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