Magnets May Hold The Key to A ‘Wireless’ Future

Open the computer bag, put the mobile phone on the MagSafe charging board, open the cover of the Bluetooth headset; close the laptop, pick up the smart watch that is charging, and attach the ID card to the back of the mobile phone…unconsciously, the magnets have spread all over our digital lives.

But looking back, even today, we can still hear a lot of sayings that “magnets will degauss ID cards”. Can you really use the ubiquitous magnets with confidence?

Magnets May Hold The Key to A 'Wireless' Future

Magnets May Hold The Key to A ‘Wireless’ Future

Behind the convenience, there is a small magnet

When it comes to magnet applications, the most common ones may be magnetic protective cases for tablets, mobile phones or e-book readers. This type of protective case can not only protect the device through magnetic attraction, but also realize the functions of closing the cover to sleep and opening the cover to wake up the screen.

In 2011, at the launch of the iPad 2, Jobs brought a new iPad smart magnetic protective case, which made many people feel the charm of magnetism for the first time.

This design has been passed down for ten years, and we can also see a similar protective case design on the latest iPad mini 6.

Another common application is magnetic charging. If you are a user of the Surface series, you will be impressed by the Surface Connect interface. After the MacBook canceled the MagSafe charging interface in 2016, it officially returned this year.

Mobile phone wireless charging magnet

Mobile phone wireless charging magnet

▲The magnetic interface of Surface.

Third-party accessory manufacturers have also launched many interesting gadgets, allowing your mobile phone and tablet to “have” the magnetic charging function.

Remove the protective case, charging these “on the bright side” of the magnet application, in less conspicuous places, we can also see the shadow of the magnet: the laptop closed to sleep, the bluetooth earphone box closed and disconnected, the magnetic The product that absorbs the fixed screen light and uses magnets to some outrageous products also comes from Apple, that is the iPad Pro.

In 2018, the magnetic keyboard and the magnetic Apple Pencil made the 2018 iPad Pro the most “absorbable” Apple product of the year, and the “most expensive refrigerator magnet in history” has also become a creative game that only it can complete.

The iPad Pro with 102 magnets also provides new accessories for third-party manufacturers, such as the exclusive magnetic bracket for iPad Pro, so that your iPad Pro can instantly become an iMac.

In 2020, Apple added a circle of magnets to the back of the iPhone 12 series, bringing MagSafe back into the public eye. For a while, products such as magnetic card holders, magnetic mobile phone holders, and magnetic charging treasures came to us again.

Today, even if you don’t look at Apple, which has tried magnet applications (iBook) since 1999, and may have built-in magnets in products other than polishing cloths, many manufacturers have begun to try to use magnets in their products. user experience.

▲ The MageSafe card holder and the AirPods charging box “reciprocate and attract”.

When I was complacent about buying DJI OM3 at the lowest price in history, DJI OM4 was officially released, and the magnetic suction is its big selling point. Even in the official advertisement, the three generations that cannot be magnetically sucked have become the object of its ridicule. .

When I bought the heat dissipation back clip and was about to enter the Canyon of Kings to compete with heroes from all walks of life, the newly released magnetic heat dissipation back clip came into my eyes.

Wireless and non-inductive may be the direction that all digital products are pursuing. The magnet is a powerful assistant to achieve this goal. “Magnetic attraction” has even become one of the criteria for many digital enthusiasts to purchase products.

There are more things to worry about than degaussing

“Although magnets can bring a lot of convenience to our lives, they will demagnetize my ID card and bank card.” I believe you have heard similar sayings in your life, and that magnet really makes us carry Are the cards you carry degaussed?

As long as the magnetic material is placed in an AC magnetic field, degaussing will occur, so the magnet can erase the data on the floppy disk and magnetic tape,

However, the second-generation resident ID cards, bank cards, and credit cards we use are all cards with built-in integrated circuits (that is, IC cards). Information is stored in IC chips, not through magnetic media. So when we use it, we say “swipe card”, but in fact we only use induction.

Rather than worrying about degaussing, you have to worry about “physical damage”, that is, bending, cutting, etc. to destroy the card.

However, some old room cards and shopping cards may still use magnetic cards, so it is necessary to stay away from magnetic equipment such as induction cookers and microwave ovens to avoid friction and scratches on the magnetic strips.

So, the magnet that won’t demagnetize the card, is it flawless? of course not. It is a rare case that the earphone box cannot be closed due to the magnet being installed backwards, and the earphone pops out when the box is opened, but the earphone box that turns black after attracting iron filings is really ugly.

▲ Netizens shared how to clean the iron filings on the AirPods box with essential oil.

You may also have encountered situations where your computer or mobile phone locks or blacks out for no apparent reason. It is also likely that a nearby magnet tricks the device into thinking you closed the lid.

However, with the improvement of technology and the enrichment of lid closure detection methods (such as light sensors), these problems will be gradually resolved. But in terms of health, magnets have more problems that we should worry about than degaussing.

In January, the Journal of the American Heart Association published a research report arguing that Apple’s iPhone 12/12 Pro series’ MagSafe technology could interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators.

Immediately afterwards, Apple China’s official website published a list of products and stated that these products should be kept at a safe distance from implantable cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators because of potential magnetic interference.

This list includes the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, Apple Watch and accessories, Mac and accessories, iPad and accessories, HomePod series speakers, Beats series headphones, covering almost all Apple product lines.

If you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator, use these products to keep the product at a distance of 15 cm (6 inches) from the medical device and 30 cm (12 inches) when charging.

Great magnets, may not be for everyone.

In addition to attracting together, repulsion also has great uses

What else can magnets bring us?

In addition to mutual attraction, repulsion is also one of the characteristics of magnets. Using the characteristics of magnet repulsion and attraction, it is possible to fix objects, move objects, and lift objects.

However, our common magnet applications, whether it is protective cases, card holders or charging devices, only use the ability of magnets to “fix objects”, while the other two usage scenarios do not seem to have many applications.

▲ Other products use magnets for this purpose.

Less is not nothing. In 2018, Xiaomi MIX3 adopted a magnetic power slide rail to achieve a true full-screen display effect.

When the sliding cover is closed, the magnet under the screen will generate an upward magnetic force, supporting the screen while preventing the screen from sliding down. When the slide cover is opened, the component of the magnetic force is opposite to the force of the finger sliding down, which gives us a sense of damping when using it.

We will not discuss the effect of achieving a full screen in this way, but it is indeed a simple and ingenious design to use magnets to attract and repel, so that the slider will not be loose and misplaced due to time changes.

Whether attracting or repelling, products using magnets always make us feel elegant and refined.

Maybe in the not-too-distant future, we will see the lift table become a “maglev table” to achieve a quiet and stepless rise and fall; the camera slide rail becomes a “magnetic power slide rail”, which is not only more stable, but also has a longer service life. longer.

Approach, attract, fix; approach, repel, move. The magnet, which has almost no sense of experience, seems to have an indescribable charm, which makes us hope to apply it in more and more scenarios.

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