- Continental plans wireless charging of smartphones on motorcycles
Cologne/Regensburg, October 1, 2014. Regardless of whether you are on short journey to work or taking a long scenic tour, a smartphone is your constant companion – even if you are on a motorbike. To make sure these phones have a full battery after the journey, so you can use all their features, Continental is developing a smart charging station that can pump fresh energy into the phone's battery – with not a tangled cable in sight.
"More and more smartphones support wireless charging," says Annette Welzer, a product manager at Continental, explaining what Continental is up to during the International Motorcycle, Scooter and E-Bike Fair Intermot 2014 in Cologne. "With wireless charging, we ensure there are no hazardous tangled cables on the bike. Motorcyclists can simply place their smartphones in a stowage box integrated into the motorcycle. This protects the cell phone from vibrations and the weather and charges it continuously."
For the future, Continental plans to integrate near field communication (NFC) along with wireless charging, allowing a Bluetooth connection to the motorcycle's electronics. But it is essential that the new features do not distract riders from the main job at hand – that of riding the motorbike.
Background on wireless charging
Anyone who often uses a smartphone knows how fast the battery can drain. This is why wireless cell-phone charging is getting more and more common. Compatible smartphones can be charged in the space-saving Continental charging station without any tangled cables. The wireless charging system meets the "Qi" standard specified by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). Continental believes this standard is ideal for use in various vehicles. For example, it offers similar charging currents to standard USB charging connections and therefore has similar charging times to those of cable charging systems.
Many smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, S4 and S3, the LG G2, and the Nokia Lumia 1020, 925, 820 and 720, can easily be equipped for wireless charging by simply replacing their back covers with a Qi-compatible one. Qi-compatible cases are also available for the Apple iPhone 5S, 5, 4S, and 4. Some models support the Qi standard right out of the box, without a special back cover. These include the Nokia Lumia 1520, 930 and 920, the Google Nexus 5 and 4, and the LG Optimus G Pro.
Behind the supposedly simple inductive charging lies an ingenious technology: Continental's reliable heat management system, which is essential for wireless charging. It ensures that neither the smartphone nor the motorcycle's components exceed their specified maximum temperatures during charging. Furthermore, foreign object detection ensures that inductive charging stops immediately when keys, coins or chewing gum in metal wrappers, for example, are accidentally placed into the charging station.