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Wireless charging: A colossal waste of energy

Wireless charging: A colossal waste of energy

It turns out the cellphone industry believes its customers just can’t be bothered with setting their phones in charging cradles or worse yet, actually plugging a charging cord into a phone. Users can now simply place a phone on top of a wireless charging pad to get their phones topped up.

For the privilege of being extra lazy these users of wireless charging expend up to 47 percent more energy to charge their phones, something that if widely adopted would require dozens of new power plants across the globe to accommodate.

Everything wireless seems like magic, and it is essentially sold as magic. It’s also sold as freedom, freedom from those pesky cords that limit where you can use your electronic devices. But the freedom is illusory. We are simply shackling ourselves ever more tightly to an addictive device that is contributing to an unsustainable fossil fueled way of life which is bound to crumble dramatically if we do not alter course.

That’s because, in addition to the wastefulness of wireless charging, wireless technologies require 10 times more energy than wired technology to transfer each unit of data and voice and do so at much slower rates than fiber optic cable. It’s no wonder then that wireless companies do NOT use wireless signals to transfer data and voice throughout their systems. Instead, they run fiber optic cables right up to the antennas that service your phone because those cables have much greater capacity and speed and much lower energy usage. (In the interests of keeping energy usage down, maybe we should consider returning to wired connections as much as possible. But that is a story for another time.)

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