Open line for the universal charger … and its future relays

The European Commission has presented a legislative proposal that would force manufacturers to use a common charger in electronic devices. This is a long-awaited proposal, first called for by the European Parliament in 2009, in order to reduce electronic waste and make life easier for consumers. A measure with which «consumers in general win, due to the economic and logistical savings due to the convenience of having a single charger, and vulnerable consumers in particular (such as the elderly or disabled), since the current situation makes it too difficult for them to choose and use the charger “, they indicate from the OCU. «Ideally, within this measure they would have incorporated

also other devices such as laptops, smart watches or devices that measure physical activity, as well as the regulation of wireless chargers so that it does not become the same chaos as that of wired chargers “, they add from this association.

«If we look globally, the electronic waste that would be generated would be significantly reduced, since the useful life of a charger is usually much longer than that of the mobile terminal. Currently, a huge amount of electronic waste is generated, and any action in this regard should be well received by the population, “he said. José Antonio Morán, Director of the Degree in Telecommunications Technology and Services Engineering at the UOC. We have been working on such a measure for a long time and “it seems that there is now more determination to go ahead with the measure. It is estimated that these cables generate 11,000 tons of electronic waste per year in the EU, so it seems that there are solid arguments to carry out a measure of this type. At a stage where the environmental issue is at the forefront, it seems that it is a measure that has a short-term path ”, the teacher emphasizes.

Chargers are estimated to generate 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually in the EU

Apple, which already uses USB-C connectors in some of its iPads and laptops, will be one of the big losers from the single charger and insists legislation to force a universal charger for every cell phone in the EU is unjustified. As explained by the company, “We remain concerned that strict regulation, requiring only one type of connector, stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world.” The UOC professor believes that companies like Apple “will have no choice, the European market is a large market and if there is a legal imperative they will have to adapt to continue selling terminals.”

Rapid evolution

At the same time that a universal charger is being sought, different proposals are emerging to charge mobile phones without cable. “Wireless charging will continue to evolve and in the end it will be the consumer who will lead the way according to use, but I think there is room in the future for both types of chargers,” explains José Antonio Morán. In his opinion, the cable has advantages that will hardly make it disappear completely, and today, “Wireless charging wastes almost 50% of the energy compared to wired charging due to heat dispersion.”

Among the wireless charging proposals is Wicharge System, a young Spanish startup committed to innovation. “Right now, the charging bases are having a lot of acceptance and, in addition, we have been given the opportunity to open new market avenues,” he says. Andrea Sabater, your CEO. “Our intention is that, wherever we are, having a battery is not a concern,” he adds. Wicharge System offers a totally free charge and its charging bases, that have a power of up to 15W depending on the device, they use the QI standard, based on electromagnetic induction.

Frenetic, for its part, it seeks to create technologies to accelerate electrification and achieve sustainability. They work in different sectors with companies such as Apple, Siemens or Huawei. «We apply artificial intelligence to optimize processes and reduce the development time of transformers, which is the critical electronic component in chargers. In addition, it helps that transformer be smaller and more efficient, so charging is done faster, “he explains. Michelangelo of the Fountain, your CRO. He considers that the universal charger «is good news for the user and our technology is also focused in this direction, that of facilitating the processes related to transformers on their way to standardization, which is something that must also happen in a horizon of a decade in electric vehicle chargers ”.

“Renewable” housings

WE ARE is a business idea mentored by the Cantabrian Technological Center that unites renewable energies with the design of mobile phone cases. In addition to protecting against shocks, it allows phones to be recharged anywhere without the need for a charger or portable battery. It is enough to have a SOMÓ casing to recover the operation of the mobile in a clean, free and sustainable way. «Allows full charging of mobile devices with 100% green energy and non-polluting, it is very comfortable and you can charge your mobile anywhere and offers both aesthetics and protection to your phone “, he explains Javier Torres, one of the students who developed the project.

A long-awaited measure

Experts agree that, with a mature enough mobile device market, the move to unify mobile chargers could have been carried out a few years ago. «Brussels has been working on this line for a long time. In 2009 A voluntary agreement has already been promoted with the main manufacturers that allowed a reduction from thirty to three types of chargers, but the agreement expired five years later and this issue was stopped. It seems that it is a good moment for it to have the definitive impulse and to move forward now ”, recalls José Antonio Morán, director of the UOC’s Degree in Telecommunications Technology and Services Engineering.

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