Standards exist for just about everything when it comes to technology, including WiFi and USB. So, why can't we have them for wireless power?
There are currently two mainstream methods to wirelessly charge mobile devices, including inductive and conductive, with a third, resonance, currently being developed. As it stands, dozens of products on the market can recharge mobile devices and electric vehicles, including offerings from Samsung, LG, and QI (to name a few). However, there's no standard implemented to make them universal. In an effort to create a universal standard for wireless charging, several tech companies have banded together to develop a platform that will cater to all devices (no indiscrimination here) no matter the manufacturer.
Known as the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), the organization is currently staffed by members from notable tech giants such as Dell, HTC, and Intel to bring forth a new standard using their Rezence magnetic resonance charging platform. The new technology and specification will address issues with current wireless chargers and their inability to cope with different power capacities and charging ranges depending on the devices used.
According to the A4WP, the Rezence platform will offer a superior charging range on almost any surface and through almost any obstacle (such as clothing and books). It will have the ability to charge multiple devices with different power requirements, all at the same time. If that weren't enough, surfaces utilizing Rezence will be able to function in the presence of metallic objects without interference. Furthermore, it will make use of current Bluetooth technology, allowing manufacturers to continue development of new mobile devices without major changes.
Only time will tell if this proposed standard will become a reality -- it depends on more tech companies coming together, which could pose a challenge as those manufacturers cater to different customers.
Palm tried to bring commonplace wireless charging to its devices just before the HP buyout. It worked great. However, it could be argued that since the "wireless" base-station is really wired, then the charging devices is wired.
Rezence joins the fray with the company WiTricity, which is also pushing magnetic resonance charging. WiTricity claims to get 80% power transfer from its technology, over dozens of inches (or centimeters if you prefer). The future is indeed going to remove our need of these power cables!
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