We’ve already seen devices coming to market and using the Qi wireless charging standard, and there’s also the Power 2.0 standard, but soon we’re about to see a third one, called the Rezence standard, from the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). These consortiums know that there’s a lot of money to be gained from licensing their technologies in the future, because wireless charging might one day become as pervasive as cable charging, if not more so. It’s not just for smartphones or other gadgets, but also things like electric cars, which could be charged by the solar-powered streets of the future as they drive around, without needing to stop to charge anymore, or at least not as often.
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One issue with the Qi standard, though, is that you need to place the device in a very fixed position in order to charge it. That’s not exactly cumbersome, but it’s far from the ideal of wireless charging, too. The point of wireless charging should be to charge at a (relative) distance from a charge. If you need to keep the device not only in a very close proximity, but in an exact position, too, that’s quite limiting, and not much better than current cable-based charging. The only advantage right now is that you don’t have to stick a cable inside the phone.
The Rezence standard attempts to solve this somewhat by increasing the space used to charge your device, which means that you can have a whole desk, or at least a big part of it powering your devices as you leave them on top of that desk. The A4WP intends to embed their technology in furniture in the future, so this isn’t exactly a far out there idea.
There is the question of how efficient this standard is, because we already know wireless charging is not as efficient as cable charging, and this could be even less efficient than what we have now, considering it can charge devices at greater distances. However, that’s just an assumption, and it’s possible the Rezence standard is so advanced that they’ve managed to make it just as efficient, if not more so, than Qi charging. That remains to be seen.
The the A4WP currently counts Samsung, LG, Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, HTC and many other companies in its membership, and they say we should see this standard coming up in products as early as next year.