When Google released the Nexus 4, it included support for Qi wireless charging. Although the Nexus 4’s implementation of Qi charging was imperfect, Google appeared to refine the technology and it was included in the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 6. Unfortunately, Google dropped Qi wireless charging from the 2015 Nexus line up and neither the Nexus 5X nor Nexus 6P have standard wireless charging. By this time, a number of other manufacturers had incorporated wireless charging into their devices – most notably Samsung as both the Galaxy S6 family and S7 include multi-standard wireless charging. Samsung also developed their own high-speed wireless charging standard, because normal Qi charging is slow. We’ve even seen IKEA design, manufacture and sell a range of wireless charging lamps and accessories. Chipset developers, such as MediaTek and Qualcomm, have also invested money into wireless charging with products such as cross-compatible chips and the ability to wirelessly charge devices through a metal chassis.
The source website, which cites unnamed industry sources, reports that LG Electronics has developed its own wireless charging standard based around magnetic resonance. This is slightly different to current magnetic induction technologies and it is easier to increase the range. LG’s implementation of the technology allows charging to be performed at a range of around 7cm, a little under three inches. Furthermore, the technology is able to charge at a rate of 7 watts. Unfortunately, LG is only considering releasing it to the market. The source website also explains that the technology could be applied to the LG Pay Smart Card too in some form of portable electronic device, set to be released some time later in the year.
It is unclear why LG are only considering releasing the technology into the market. It may be that the necessary charging infrastructure is cumbersome, unreliable, or runs too warm for comfort. It may also be that LG wishes to wait for other competitor systems to be released – we are aware that a number of Chinese manufacturers are developing their own wireless charging technology as well as belonging to the AirFuel Alliance. Perhaps LG wish to jointly develop a technology with a number of partners to ensure that it gains traction in the market? One of the risks of multiple wireless charging standards being developed and released is that it creates confusion and frustration for consumers: customers want to buy a standard wireless charger for all of their devices rather than multiple standards, each requiring a unique charger.