Summary:

There’s a lot of energy in the wireless charging space of late: First Qualcomm joined all three major standards groups and now the Bluetooth SIG is helping to create a new class of smarter wireless charging devices.

wireless charging

There’s been a recent flurry of activity in the wireless charging space and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is the latest group to get involved. On Wednesday, the organization announced that it now has a formal liaison relationship with the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) to create smarter wireless charging devices.

The Bluetooth SIG shared details of the agreement in its press release explaining how wireless communications can help wireless charging:

“As a first step, the Bluetooth SIG has issued a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) to the A4WP for adoption in its baseline system specification (BSS).  The A4WP BSS utilizes the Bluetooth Smart radio standard to carry the session management and power control between an A4WP charging station and an A4WP-certified device, e.g., smartphone. “

While no products have been formally announced with this feature, the wireless charging experience can benefit in a few ways with this development. The Bluetooth SIG suggests that devices will start charging more quickly when placed on a compatible charging pad. And multiple device owners will have great control over the charging process, allowing a main device to have prioritized charging because the charger will be able to recognize individual devices.

The news comes at an interesting time for wireless charging as a whole: Yesterday, Qualcomm — a founding member of the A4WPannounced it was also a member of the Power Matters Alliance; a rival wireless charging organization with different standards. That followed Qualcomm’s decision last week to also join the Wireless Power Consortium which has yet another standard called Qi.

Qualcomm appears to be taking the lead on unifying technology across all three groups, so my hope is that the new Bluetooth 4.0 support carries through with whatever standard is finally agreed upon.

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