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A4WP gains support from an industry giant

It's not at all uncommon in the technology world for multiple organizations to be competing to become the standard for new technology. This went on in the past with the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD among others. A new battle is brewing when it comes to wireless power with multiple organizations vying to be the standard.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and has added a big name to its list of supporters: Intel. “In joining A4WP, we look forward to working alongside other member companies and contributing to standards that help fuel an ecosystem of innovative solutions capable of simultaneously charging a range of devices, from low-power accessoriesto smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks," said Navin Shenoy, Intel vice president, PC client group and general manager, mobile client platform division.

The Alliance for Wireless Power has a goal of creating a "flexible wireless power" specification wireless charging that will become an industry standard.

A4WP claims to have 50 members including some major companies in the technology realm including Broadcom, Delphi, LG Electronics, and SanDisk. The technology the company is supporting uses near field magnetic resonance charging allowing charging using a loose coupling of electromagnetic fields. The technology that A4WP is backing will allow multiple devices to be placed on a single charging pad at the same time with no need to fiddle with wires.

Competitors vying to become the industry standard for wireless charging include the Wireless Power Consortium and the Power Matters Alliance. The Wireless Power Consortium is backing technology that is already available on the market called Qi and is being used by Nokia, Samsung, and LG. The specification being pushed by the Power Matters Alliance is called Power 2.0. One of the biggest backers for the Power 2.0 standard is battery giant Duracell. The battery maker is backing Power 2.0 with its subsidiary, Powermat Technologies..

A4WP Chairman Kamil Grajski said his group aims to "[Remain] above the fray of the squabble that has broken out between first-generation players WPC and PMA" and "Has kept its eye on the next generation of [wireless charging] technologies and enhanced user experience through wireless charging spatial freedom."

Sources: Computerworld, Alliance for Wireless Power [PDF]

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RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 12:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
That's great in that you can have the load-sensing low-power-state thing. But when in use, the inductive field is still going to be as lossy as ever.

If you're trying to imaging some kind of directionalized energy transfer, you're not talking about an inductive field anymore. That would be something else entirely...

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 1:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
There is nothing inherently lossy about energy transfer through electromagnetism. Typically what determines this is the transmit and receive mechanism and freq charactistics. From a theoretical sense if the antennas are designed properly one could have near 100% energy transfer. This of course is ideal and we would never reach quite that high.

The transfer of energy through the inductive term of the electromagnetic field is exactly directed energy transfer. It's the receive and transmit that doesn't catch all that energy.

Also, given the weight and volume that a battery consumes for current mobile devices this could be far more profound than simply not plugging in your phone. I'm not sure who to bet on in this race- better battery tech or wireless energy transfer.

RE: Lazy!
By Motoman on 6/20/2013 1:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
Mmmm, any kind of field induction is always going to have significant loss to the environment. My assertion is that even if the loss is dropped to like 1%, it's still an unacceptable additional amount of loss placed on top of all the other inefficiencies we already have (like the oft-mentioned-in-this-thread A/C adapter).

We've been messing with field induction for a long time...and batteries. I think there's still some marginal improvements available in both, but I don't see any reason to think there's any earth-shattering new discoveries to be made in either.

We need batteries, as a necessary part of mobile electronics. We don't really "need" wireless charging. Although as noted if we can come up with a way to do it with losses that are well and truly negligible, then I'm all for it.

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 1:43:46 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. If we are using this kind convoluted wireless scheme to simply charge a device which could be otherwise wall plugged then that is just a waste of money. I don't think the market will ever bare this out. Why buy a fancy 300$ wireless charger when I can do it faster with a 2$ plug in. We haven't even talked about the time factor between wired and wireless charging.

I think the really cool deal here is dumping the battery all together. The batteries, associated power conversions, and storage losses open up some opportunity for innovation.

IF (big if here) we could slip a true wireless mobile power source into a product with the same overall losses and footprint as a battery system then that would be a game changer. Not just for fart phones, but jesus, I've been waiting for a wireless powered signal and speaker system since I was like 12. We might have a snowballs chance at supplying the kind of wattage needed to run some 6" speakers.

I've known people with these silly mat chargers that STILL forget to put the damn phone on the thing to charge, and now instead of a quicky 30 min or something to get you back up and running they are looking at much longer... and then they plug the phone into a standard charger when their wife isn't looking LOL.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
You must hate the world then because phone wireless chargers are already standard in some cars. It doesn't cost $300, more like $100. A wired charger cost $12-30.

RE: Lazy!
By linconmaples on 6/20/2013 2:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
If they are standard options inside a new automobile then I don't think you really know how much they cost. You know what the dealer tells you.

The wireless chargers worth their salt and actually usable cost bucks.

It's very hard to get anything more than a trickle charge out of these things.

And on wired chargers... all depends on what your charging. I can find a wall adapter that's hundreds of dollars... but these aren't the kind of applications wireless charging is ready to tackle.

I don't know if its exactly 2$ or 300$ or whatever... they are an order of magnitude more expensive either way.

RE: Lazy!
By BRB29 on 6/20/2013 2:44:18 PM , Rating: 2

charging mats are everywhere. They are wireless chargers using the same kind of tech.

The new field induction systems that actually give more distance between charger and battery will cost more now. It will be cheaper in the future when economy of scales takes place.

Whatever everyone is saying, this tech will go mainstream regardless of what "inefficiency" you may think. The overall cost of this loss is minimal overall. The convenience and simplicity it brings outweighs the cost.

GE produced a wireless charger for EVs. I don't know why you're saying we're not ready. The only reason these chargers are not ready is probably because EV is not mainstream.

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