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  • Qi: Wireless Power Standard "Within 6 Months"

    An industry group is developing a standard for wireless charging of devices like digital cameras and cell phones, and expects to complete its technical specification within six months. The spec, when released, will allow manufacturers to release compatible wireless charging stations that will work with a range of devices, including a $30 iPhone sleeve.

    Wireless charging uses a mat or other inductive surface that plugs into a wall outlet to automatically recharge any device that's placed near it. This would allow for more convenient recharging, and eliminate the tangle of charger cables and proliferation of "wall-wart" AC-DC power supplies familiar to all owners of multiple portable devices.

    The Wireless Power Consortium - an industry group made up of 27 manufacturers such as Nokia, Research In Motion, Philips, Sanyo, Samsung Electronics, Energizer and Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments and Fulton Innovation - plans to complete its standard before the middle of the year, according to Menno Treffers, a Philips executive who serves as chairman of the consortium. If it's not ready by then, he said, "I will eat my hat," speaking to a group of vendors at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday in a report carried by the IDG News Service.

    Wireless charging technology uses magnetic induction to transfer power from metal coils built into the mat to similar coils in the device to be charged when they are placed close to each other. According to the emerging standard, mats will be able to deliver up to 5 watts of power, which should be enough to charge most cameras and phones. A separate standard will be developed for larger devices, such as laptops. "We want to start on that as soon as possible, but for now we don't want to dilute our engineering efforts," Treffers said.

    There are several wireless chargers currently available, like the Wii Energizer charger and the Powermat charging station that works with many phones and portable devices. The standard will allow many more devices to be released for general use, and vendors are holding off on developing new products for the time being. "We're done for now until the standard is complete," said Serge Traylor, an executive at Energizer. After the standard is complete, he said, Energizer will release a compatible mat for charging one or two devices for about $100, and charging sleeves for iPhone and Blackberry devices that will cost $30 to $40.

    image via the Wireless Power Consortium
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Qi: Wireless Power Standard "Within 6 Months" started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. clikzip's Avatar
      clikzip -
      Sounds like an excellent idea, i would love to do away with my iPhone sync cable. I just had to buy a new one when i got my dock, would be great to just integrate everything, including my girlfriends BB.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      I think great idea
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Apple will release their own version
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Who needs a sleeve when your MacBook and iPhone have it built in
    1. shadowtrainer02's Avatar
      shadowtrainer02 -
      No, by then Apple will have come out with a power-crystal or whatever that allows all idevices to be 100% charged in two minutes by simply thinking it [chalk another rumor up for the iSlate/iTablet possibilities :-)].
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Don't they already have this? Powermat.com | Introducing Powermat

      Quote Originally Posted by shadowtrainer02 View Post
      No, by then Apple will have come out with a power-crystal or whatever that allows all idevices to be 100% charged in two minutes by simply thinking it [chalk another rumor up for the iSlate/iTablet possibilities :-)].
      Right, that's why the iPhone has had such stellar battery life even in its third incarnation.
    1. DanTheManMS's Avatar
      DanTheManMS -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      Don't they already have this? Powermat.com | Introducing Powermat
      Yes, but that's hardly a "standard" which is what this article is about. The idea is so that any manufacturer can create a device that's compatible with this wireless charging system, without relying on the proprietary Powermat system.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      Apple will release their own version
      Quote Originally Posted by Melech518 View Post
      and then only later be sued by nokia who still hadnt released their own i might add
    1. M4tt Dam0n's Avatar
      M4tt Dam0n -
      I'd like to know the specifics of how this technology works.
    1. SquareWheel's Avatar
      SquareWheel -
      Surely six months isn't long enough to create a standard for something this important?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Phone companies have agreed on a standard for chargers which will greatly reduce the number of chargers needed.
      Until this is built in to every device most people won't be interested - I certainly won't be using it until it's built in.
      In order for it to get built in it needs to be popular enough for it to be worth while, a standard is the first step but will it gain critical mass? I'm not sure.
    1. WTFDANG <3's Avatar
      WTFDANG <3 -
      Amazing wireless energy