We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is an Induction Charger?

By Amy Raubenolt
Updated: Feb 17, 2024

An induction charger replenishes power to an electronic device but does not require a direct connection between metallic parts of the charger and the device. Proximity charging is a more descriptive name for this type of charging. In the beginning of the 21st century, induction charging was on the rise in popularity for mobile phones, laptops, and other hand-held devices. This type of power source is especially popular in charging low-voltage appliances or items that must be operated around or stored near water. Wireless induction is also useful for implanted medical devices that must be charged externally, such as an artificial heart.

Most small mobile devices – such as MP3 players, cell phones, and digital cameras – come with power cords. Those cords feature little boxes that function as transformers. The domestic voltage necessary to operate the dishwasher, vacuum, or television would fry these types of small low-voltage devices. These little boxes scale back the domestic voltage to appropriate levels to charge the small appliances.

By making creative use of the electric process of energy transfer that occurs in a transformer, an induction charger can transfer energy into a portable device without requiring metallic contact. All transformers contain a primary coil, an iron core, and a secondary coil. The power travels from the primary coil through the iron core to charge the secondary coil. With an induction charger, the secondary coil resides within the device and not within the transformer. When the secondary coil within that device comes in proximity to the primary coil, the iron core links the two coils electromagnetically and transfers power to the secondary coil, even if those two parts are not physically connected.

The advantages of an induction charger are that it can be operated safely in situations where traditional transformers would be dangerous – such as near water or with internal medical devices – power can be transferred across short distances without direct connection, and that small, portable devices can be liberated. Some studies, however, show that wireless induction is less efficient than traditional charging options and that this type of charging often leaves portable devices hot. In addition, until induction chargers can sense when to stop charging a device, the devices continue to draw power, resulting in the use of more fossil fuels than traditional powering devices.

Toothbrushes and electric razors commonly feature an induction charger. In 2009, Dell® released a laptop featuring an induction charger. That same year, several companies released induction chargers for phones, Wii™ remotes, and MP3 players. Technology for powering blenders, mixers, and food processors via induction chargers stored on kitchen countertops and for charging power tools via induction chargers built into workbenches is on the horizon.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.