Wireless charging, is a new transformational technology which makes it possible for devices to be charged without the use of physical wires. It works on the principle of electromagnetic induction. The device receives charge through electromagnetic fields rather than a cable. There has been a steady increase of people who are aware about wireless charging as well as those who have used it. The overwhelming positive reaction showed by consumers has prompted mobile companies like Samsung to include wireless charging technology in their Galaxy phones. Such moves have greatly influenced the growth in the receiver market which has a limited availability of products. The key industrial players are thus battling it out to ensure they get a large customer base as possible.
Below are some of the leading developers of this wire-free technology.
Qi. This is an open platform which is developed by Wireless Power Consortium. It receives support from more than 200 Wireless Power Consortium members which include Nokia and LG and it caters for wireless charging for more than 300 products. It is currently the dominant player in the industry having the largest industry penetration and distribution. It possesses a strong end-user backing .Qi uses inductive charging with a wavelength of 100-205kHz.A charging pad makes it possible for alternating current to move through a coil creating a magnetic effect which then induces an electric current on the receiver coil thus charging a device.
Powermat. It was once part of WPC but later on opinion differences prompted its exit from the consortium. Starbucks recently declared that it would integrate PMA wireless charging in all its stores in the United States. Currently, there are two android devices which back PMA wireless charging. AT & T is a member of PMA and has been toning down competition for PMA by disabling or removing competing wireless charging standards. Like Qi, PMA uses inductive charging with wavelength of 277-357kHz.
A4WP. Referred to as the Alliance for Wireless Power, it has the least dominance in the market. It employs magnetic resonance in its technology known a Rezence. This technology enables multiple devices to charge at the same time and makes charging possible amidst metallic apparatus. Rezence is after the ambitious smart charging zones where short range communication will be employed to facilitate charging. This will cut down on hardware needs. A4WP receives backing from Smartphone companies like Samsung, Intel, LG, HTC, amongst others. Despite this, it has the least impact in the industry thus it has decided to merge its specification with PMA.
Currently. Qi already has an advantage over other players, but since PMA has partnered with Starbucks and merges with A4WP, the tables might turn. As the players try to make wireless charging mainstream, they still need to address various consumer concerns such as availing faster wireless charging in order to create and retain their customer base.