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Summary:

Global shipments of devices capable of wireless charging will jump nearly 70 times by 2014 from the 3.5 million units expected to sell this year, according to the latest forecast from iSuppli. What will drive this change?

Global shipments of devices capable of wireless charging will jump nearly 70 times by  2014 from the 3.5 million units expected to sell this year, anticipates supply chain research firm, iSuppli. More than 234 million such consumer devices are expected to be shipped over the next four years, including mobile phones, portable media players, digital still cameras and small mobile computers will use a wireless charger — with initial adoption coming from handsets.

While the phrase “wireless charging” paints a picture of a battery refresh completely without wires, the technology isn’t quite that advanced. A charging mat or puck — think of Powermat or the Palm Pre’s Touchstone charger — still typically needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet. And both the charging station and the device that requires a recharge need magnetic coils for the short-distance process. See our “10 Things to Know About Wireless Power” article for additional details.

The coil requirement is partially what’s prevented wireless charging from seeing mainstream adoption — with so many different device batteries on the market, it hasn’t been feasible for a mass migration from direct charging batteries. And it can take longer for a battery to be topped off using wireless charging. But iSuppli believes that device makers will look towards new standards to help improve such technology and speed up consumer acceptance of wireless solutions.

Indeed, during my own discussions with the Powermat team earlier this year, I got a first look at how the company is creating its own batteries with the aim of striking deals directly with device makers. Currently, the Powermat solution requires a special phone case to accept a wireless charge and consumers may not want a specific-function case for their iPhone or BlackBerry. But if Powermat can supply a battery to those phones so they natively support wireless power, consumers won’t need a special case. Handset makers could simply provide a wireless-capable battery in lieu of the traditional one at the point of device purchase — a move sure to drive up adoption. Even Stacey, who thinks wireless charging is useless in its current state, might adopt the technology if that happens. Ironically, she’s on a trip today and left her wired phone charger behind!

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Wireless Power: Beyond Charing Mats and Solar Power

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    1. Nope – wireless charging doesn’t have much to do with antennas. And the details of the job posting are looking for experience with HSPA/GSM technologies, i.e.: transferring voice and data, not electricity. ;)

  1. It all started with the Pre: 70x Surge in Wireless Charging Seen by 2014 – PreCentral Forums Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    [...] Jay 70x Surge in Wireless Charging Seen by 2014 By Kevin C. Tofel Jun. 30, 2010, 11:20am PDT 70x Surge in Wireless Charging Seen by 2014 Global shipments of devices capable of wireless charging will jump nearly 70 times by 2014 from [...]

  2. 70x Surge in Wireless Charging Seen by 2014 – GigaOm (blog) | Crazy for the Palm Pre Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    [...] is the original post: 70x Surge in Wireless Charging Seen by 2014 – GigaOm (blog) var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="70x Surge in Wireless Charging [...]

  3. I think wireless electricity is going to be a major new trend. I am sure you must have heard how a few years ago, scientists at MIT had managed to successfully transmit power through air. Check out this link about wireless power. Has some really neat information :

    http://www.whackk.com/july-2010/wireless-power

  4. WiTricity Lands Delphi as Wireless Car Charging Partner: Cleantech News « Thursday, September 30, 2010

    [...] charging pads for cellphones and other consumer electronics are out in the market, and Intel has been working on inductive wireless charging for electronic devices for years. But [...]

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