The wireless charging dream got some good news recently when the two major wireless charging groups agreed to join forces with their standards, removing one more barrier to making it easy for consumers to match products with chargers.
This is great news because it opens the door for interoperability and could set up incentives for easy access charging pads in public spaces. I can imagine airports, for example, offering charging mats for easy charging of tablets and smart phones while on the go. Starbucks is experimenting with offering charging mats.
Interestingly WiTricity announced it would join The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), one of the two major standards organizations involved. WiTricity is working on magnetic resonance charging, which allows users to charge across distances by creating an oscillating field that resonates with other devices. If you haven’t seen the demo, it’s pretty fascinating technology (and a little scary, particularly when the company CEO showed how the charging field will charge a device through objects, including his own hand).
Wireless charging is an obvious game changer and would allow smart phone makers like Samsung and Nokia to distinguish themselves in a very competitive market. I also believe that it could help theoretical devices like Apple’s rumored iWatch see the light of day. Companies are attempting to make consumer devices like watches smart and connected, yet must deal with the fact that consumers find charging on these devices inconvenient.
For now, we’re moving towards some common standards, which is one step forward.