Imagine your smartphone runs out of battery at a restaurant. Instead of hassling with a bulky charger, you simply place your gadget on a table and walk away. An hour later, your phone is fully powered up through the table-top, thanks to the wireless charger placed beneath the table. That's the power of wireless technology.
Much like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, wireless charging promises to revolutionize the way consumers use their mobile devices. Recently, market research firm IHS predicted that almost 100 million devices that support wireless charging could be in the market by 2015, as compared to the 5 million sold in 2012.
A host of consumer electronics manufacturers and battery companies are already betting on its success and are distinguishing their latest models with wireless charging options. Be it mobile phones or home appliances, wireless charging is set to become ubiquitous with a range of applications. Therefore, it becomes imperative to ensure that charging is standardized.
The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), a conglomerate of manufacturers working to create a global standard for inductive charging, has already developed a new standard called Qi (pronounced 'chee'). As such, it lets you charge any Qi-enabled electronic device on a Qi inductive charging mat, without plugging it in. Since its launch, over 30 companies have shipped mobile phones using the embedded wireless charging capabilities of Qi.
In fact, wireless charging is expected to gain significant momentum in 2013. Recently, a slew of wireless charging products comprising smartphones, multi-phone charging pads and tablet chargers grabbed a fair amount of attention at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The 2013 Toyota Avalon, the first car ever to offer wireless charging with a Qi-powered console under the dashboard, was among the most popular wireless innovations on display at the event.
Meanwhile, wireless charging stations are increasingly being tested at restaurants, coffee shops and airport lounges. For instance, Nokia has partnered with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to bring table-top charging stations to select locations of the coffee chain. Similarly, Powermat, part of Duracell and Proctor & Gamble, had earlier tested wireless charging spots at Starbucks in Boston and plans to expand nationwide this year.
In a world where people are always on the go, wireless charging is surely catching on. Have you joined the wireless revolution yet?