Sometimes there’s a disconnect between engineers and consumers. I made a wireless headphone when I was at school in 1970, but I didn’t think it was that useful. It was a gimmick to say “look no wires, I can’t really be listening to music instead of doing homework” (silly school rule). I still can’t really see the point of a wireless charging cradle that’s 80% efficient when a wired cradle is 100% efficient.
I think that wireless chargers (using AC converted to DC) may have had to wait for Schottky diodes to be invented – ones with a small forward voltage. It wouldn’t work with early rectifiers that would have absorbed too much power to be practical. Not that there were mobile devices much smarter than a flashlight in the early 20th century, or rechargeable batteries that did not spill acid if dropped.