Technology

Groups Team Up to Create the Future of Device Charging

By / Feb 12, 2014 (Rezence press photo)

Two trade groups focused on the budding space of wireless charging announced a new collaboration this week that could help take the concept mainstream.

Our mobile world is growing quickly—and it might grow even faster if we don’t have to carry a plug around everywhere.

That’s why a new partnership between two rival wireless charging groups earned praise on Tuesday and could be the first step toward the technology’s mainstream acceptance. More details:

About the partnership: The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), which markets its charging solution under the brand name Rezence, signed an agreement with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) to collaborate on a single standard for wireless power. The groups will adopt portions of one another’s wireless charging standards while collaborating on an application programming interface (API) to manage the charging of devices. “This announcement delivers a compelling message for the industry to commit and deliver wireless charging devices now,” A4WP President Kamil Grajski said in a statement. “Between the organizations, A4WP and PMA membership consists of the key players necessary to drive industry consolidation and establish a commercially viable globally interoperable wireless charging ecosystem.”

Not yet universal: As CNET notes, just because these groups are collaborating doesn’t mean universal charging is here quite yet. For one thing, there’s another group out there with a widely used wireless standard—the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). That group’s inductive charging-based standard, Qi, has the backing of mobile giant Samsung, among others. PMA, also focused on an inductive-charging standard, has the support of consumer brands like Starbucks and Procter and Gamble. The Rezence standard, a magnetic resonance-based technology designed to be built into surfaces that can charge multiple devices at once, isn’t in wide use yet. It does, however, have several industry partners, including Qualcomm and Samsung. And mobile giant Apple has yet to support a standard itself—though CNET suggests the consolidation could help it decide which technology to use.

While the market as a whole has yet to settle on a single standard, the alliance creates ground for the industry to build upon. As AW4P Marketing Chair Geoff Gordon noted to ReadWrite, more progress has yet to be made—and there may even be a seat at the table for WPC.

“The A4WP and PMA undertook their effort as an initial leadership step,” Grajski said. “Industry consolidation is likely to be a multi-step process.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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