Nokia: Wirelessly Re-Charging their Innovation

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If I say “Mobile Phone”, what springs to mind? Most of you will picture the might of Apple and Samsung, of the iPhone and the S Series; you’ll picture all-in-one devices that promise to do everything we could ever want to do on one convenient screen. You might even think of HTC or Blackberry. The one thing that the younger generation would never picture, but the older generations would, is Nokia.

In the 1980s, at the dawn of mobile communication, Nokia were one of the most innovative companies in the world. This Finnish company were small, but they had big dreams and utilized collaboration at scale. Admittedly, the early days of mobile technology were somewhat laughable in comparison to modern times, these phones required you to carry a small power station around with you and gave you a hernia every time you made a business call.

Despite that, this was the 80s, an age before the internet, before DVDs, 50 inch televisions and high-powered gaming. There wasn’t much to impress in the way of technology, so these phones blew everyone away. Nokia led the way for many years and were one of the fastest growing, technologically exciting companies in the world. The Mobira Cityman (more on this here) which later become a favourite and popular mobile phone worldwide, was one of their first creations, but there were many more to follow.

In the late nineties Nokia took another giant leap with the Nokia 5110 and 6110 series (pirctured). These phones may seem tame by today’s standards, looking significantly better than the bricks of the 1980s, far from the iPhones of today, but they marked a turning point in mobile technology. Not only did they have games installed, but they also had mobile email capability, and this was at a time when not everyone had access to the internet.

Pictured: The 5110 and 6110 series
Pictured: The 5110 and 6110 series

Nokia enjoyed several more innovative years, but its advantages were fading fast. It had very little competition in the mobile market because the major technology companies of the day had yet to see the potential that this market had, but once they did, Nokia’s days quickly became numbered. In the 21st century the Blackberry and then the iPhone made the Nokia line of phones look bleak and dull by comparison. The world of technology moved very quickly in a very short time, and although Nokia had been at the head of those changes for nearly two decades, they slipped behind and quickly fell out of favour.

Nokia – “the sleeping giant” are coming back. These days, Nokia are returning to their inventing and innovative ways. They are investing their time and money in wireless charging which at this point has many possibilities as a technology worldwide. The charger which supports the charging of a device inductively (through electromagnetics).

Charigng by Induction

More technically, this “charging pad” establishes a connection as soon as a wireless receiver (wireless charging capable phone) is placed on top of it. Your phone is then charged just like it would be using a standard, wired charger, and nothing else in the surrounding environment is affected. The principle works the same as an induction hob; it remains in the ‘off’ position for much of the time, but as soon as you put the device on top of it, it establishes a connection and turns itself on. See the diagram below, which illustrates how the technology of charging devices inductively works.

Image Source: PowerbyProxi - How charging by induction works.
How charging by induction works.

Image courtesy of Powerbyproxi

Nokia’s innovation – The Charger

The Nokia charger (pictured below) was developed using the Qi Standard, which was invented by the WPC and is made up of several world renowned companies such as Sony and Verizon. There are rival chargers which are developed under different regulations by rival companies, but the Qi Standard has the market share and seems to be leading the way. Although Nokia and various other companies are inventing wireless charging gadgets for their own array of devices, the true potential lies for a single charger allowing for multiple consumer devices to be charged at once.

Nokia Charging Plate
Nokia Charging Plate

The technology which Nokia have used and put into practical use, has the potential to revolutionise how you charge you phone and other devices. The future is exciting and another great wave of progression lies ahead, and although it may be too early to tell, as with the early mobile-bricks of the 1990s, and the scores of devices that followed, Nokia may well be one of the leading faces in this technological change.

This post was written by Robert Kramers and David Jester

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