Just like so many great ideas that either end up going nowhere or take forever to evolve because no standard can ever be decided upon – so goes the wireless charging industry. A concept of epic proportions and a real potential money maker, not to mention a great convenience for customers – no wires, no hassle, just lay your smartphone, earbuds or smartwatch on the charging mat and off you go.
The problems we are running into are selecting ONE global standard – we currently have three that are competing, but it looks like two of them may have reached an agreement to agree, which would be a small step forward, but at least it is a step in the right directions. Right now, we have the Alliance for Wireless Power – backed by Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics. The second group is Power Matters Alliance and is supported by Procter & Gamble and Starbucks Corporation. These are the two groups that agreed to merge and possibly a move toward an agreed-upon framework that could allow manufacturers to include built-in wireless charging technology in their smartphones, tablets and certainly wearables – everybody's life could be so much easier.
A third group has made the most headway so far with their "Qi" standard – the Wireless Power Consortium has the backing f Nokia and Philips. They shipped about 20 million devices in 2013, but still less than 2-percent of the billion smartphones shipped worldwide. All three platforms use a similar technology – transferring an electrical charge from a transmitter coil to a receiving coil in the device.
This inability to agree on a wireless charging standard is getting in the way of widespread and worldwide adoption. According to IHS, a marketing research firm, the wireless charging market could be worth $8.5 billion by 2018 – this is money that is currently being lost simply because no standard could be agreed upon. Hopefully, with two of the three standards merging, the third may come into the fold. They need to open up a dialog with each other and determine what technology is the best, and work towards a common goal… what is best for the customer.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you currently use wireless charging for any of your devices and if you would like to see one standard emerge… as always, we would love to hear from you.