Is your smartphone’s battery about to run out? You are not alone. With millions of mobile devices carrying out more and more tasks, batteries are running out faster, forcing the industry to look for solutions that include wireless power, which can provide consumers with a recharge of energy on the move.
Many solutions to this problem are being shown in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas this week, but consumers may be confused by the number of platforms and standards that compete in this area.
The Wireless Power Consortium, which brings together a hundred companies, came to promote its standard called Qi, which allows you to charge a device by simply placing it on top of a charger, without having to plug it in.
This system already claims 130 types of compatible devices and about 10 million devices in total in use. “This is the only consortium that has real products in the market,” said CJ Moore, of Fulton Innovation, one of the technology firms They are behind the group, which also includes Nokia, LG, Panasonic and Texas Instruments.
In this sense, Moore showed at the CES the variety of wireless charging stations that can be used, which can be installed at home, but also at airports and cafes.
IHS analysts expect the industry to grow to 100 million units sold in 2015. The French company Gidophone has already installed a hundred Qi payment recharge stations in Europe. “The reaction to our kiosks has been phenomenal,” said Christian Pineau, its vice president in charge of sales, and the company now intends to expand to the United States.
However, Qi is not the only recharge platform present at CES. On its side, the Alliance for Wireless Power, which has 30 members, including Samsung, Qualcomm and Deutsche Telekom, promised a “new generation” recharging solution. “, using another standard that is not compatible with the others.
“Consumers prefer to load several devices at the same time,” stressed its president, Kamil Grajsk, during a press conference where he showed various types of chargers, such as coffee tables or armrests of cars. However, Grajsk acknowledged that the existence of Different rules could create confusion in the consumer. But “it is a competitive market, no company or group can declare itself the winner,” he said.
Although some groups, such as Samsung, are members of two alliances, although representatives of the company ratified their commitment to AWP. A third organization, named Power Matters Alliance and supported by Google, AT & T and Protecter & Gamble, and which uses its own technology, announced, meanwhile, in Las Vegas that it had gained 30 new members.
Its president, Ariel Sobelman, highlighted that it brought together “incontestable world leaders in its categories” and that it worked to create “a true global ecosystem”. Its standard is being tested in the Starbucks coffee shops in Boston, in cooperation with the firm of batteries Duracell, which belongs to Procter & Gamble, and Delta Air Lines installed compatible charging stations at airports. General Motors also foresees, according to the alliance, to use the system in some of its vehicles.
“It’s like the battle between VHS and Betamax,” the two video standards that were opposed in the 1980s, said Jack Black, a scientist at DLS Electronics, which supports the Qi standard. “In the end, the market will impose a standard.”
While waiting, the Dutch NXP semiconductor company produces components that could allow shippers to use different standards. “We are reflecting on a solution that allows us to recognize the device and charge it,” explained his representative at the CES, Kai Neumann. However, other solutions could also emerge, such as more durable batteries, improved antennas and devices that better manage their power.