Technology

Now You Can Recharge Your iPhone While It’s Underwater

A waterproof case has successfully protected a submerged iPhone 5, which was then charged via a wireless pad.

Wireless charging stands to make those productivity killing moments where you find yourself without a charger a thing of the past. A recent test involved sealing the iPhone 5 inside Nuud Lifeproof case, containing an iQi receiver, before it was dropped into a container of liquid resting on top of the wireless charging pad. The experiment was undertaken by Bavan Palasanthiran, Founder of FoneSalesman.com, based in Harrow, Greater London.

Now You Can Recharge Your iPhone While It's Underwater

iPhone 5 underwater charger: Tesla-inspired technology

The 0.5 millimeter thick receiver plugs into the iPhone 5’s Lightning connector port, protected by the waterproof case, and can be used with any wireless charging pad.

Nikola Tesla was the original proponent of wireless charging, also known as inductive charging. A charging device requires two coils, one transmitter and one receiver. A magnetic field is generated when alternating current is passed through the transmitter coil, inducing a voltage in the receiver which can then charge a battery.

The iQi receiver features a thin transmitter coil as its circuits are printed, making it small enough to fit inside a cellphone case. Mr. Palasanthiran expects that improvements in the technology will allow for wireless charging at greater distances within the next ten years.

MIT develops rival product

However the market for underwater charging may be limited to divers and seamen, and the device already has a rival developed by scientists from MIT. The MagMIMO wireless charger works at distances of up to 30 centimeters, and is capable of charging an iPhone 4 in 5 hours.

The technology negates the need for cellphones to be placed directly on a wireless charging pad, because a magnetic coil transmits energy through the air. The cellphone receiving the charge can be placed in any position, even remaining in your pocket.

The transmitter detects the presence of the cellphone when it enters its magnetic field, and generates varying frequencies in order to focus its energy on the phone, improving the strength of the field and thus its charging capabilities.

Users of smart watches such as the Apple Watch stand to benefit from the development of the technology, as it seems likely that their devices will need to be charged daily.