Amongst the smorgasbord of features Samsung announced for its newest flagship device the Galaxy SIII, the wireless charging accessory seemed the most no-brainer. Wireless power has been a dream for almost everyone, but aside from short-lived products, such as the Touchstone that was available for Palm's Pré phones, they have not really become a reality.
Today Samsung and Qualcomm, together with a group of other technology companies, announced a new initiative that aims to promote the "global standardization of a wireless power transfer technology". The appropriately named "Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP)" will help create an affordable wireless charging solution for a range of consumer electronic devices, from low power ones, such as Bluetooth headsets, to battery draining tablets.
The benefits of A4WP's wireless power approach, include: "a transmitter and receiver antenna design that is easily implemented, a simple wireless power control system, and the ability to transfer power through non-metallic surfaces". Most wireless charging solutions till now have required a metallic surface, and A4WP's solution may allow wireless charging stations that seamlessly fit into your household.
A4WP will help develop product testing, a certification program, regulatory compliance processes, as well as support marketing activities with the intent to expand the wireless charging technology ecosystem.
Qualcomm brings its wireless power expertise in the form of its "WiPower" technology, which uses inductive wireless energy transfer and has enjoyed limited success.
The other members of the alliance include, Ever Win Industries, Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic, Powermat Technologies, and SK Telecom.
For more details check out the press release below:
Global Technology Power Players Unite to Form Alliance for Wireless Power Creating Spatial Freedom in Consumer Electronics Charging
CTIA WIRELESS 2012
SAN DIEGO & SEOUL, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wireless technology leaders Samsung and Qualcomm Incorporated have joined other technology leaders to form the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), it was announced today.
“As an innovation leader, Gill’s goal is to provide embedded wireless power solutions to our global customers in the automotive and furniture industry that increase productivity while enabling and enriching users’ lives. The A4WP will ensure the standardization needed to provide a true and ubiquitous wireless charging infrastructure.”
The independently operated organization’s mission is to promote global standardization of a wireless power transfer technology that offers spatial freedom, to develop product testing, certification and regulatory compliance processes, and to foster industry dialogue with regulators on wireless power policy development. The alliance is targeting a broad base of consumer electronic devices to establish a worldwide wireless power technology ecosystem.
The A4WP will focus on a new wireless power transfer technology that provides spatial freedom for charging of electrical devices in cars, on tabletops and for multiple devices simultaneously.
Benefits of this wireless power approach include: a transmitter and receiver antenna design that is easily implemented, a simple wireless power control system, and the ability to transfer power through non-metallic surfaces. The A4WP expects to achieve this capability without the need for costly multi-coil repeaters, which are required for other systems. A single specification is envisioned that will address simultaneous charging of multiple devices ranging from very low power products, such as Bluetooth headsets, to today’s most sophisticated tablets.
The A4WP is open to new members and welcomes participation from vendors in all segments of the potential ecosystem, including: handheld devices, consumer electronics, semiconductor products, automotive, furniture, test equipment, cellular operators, and retail.
Alliance members will be available to discuss membership opportunities at the launch event on May 8, to be held at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, USA, during CTIA Wireless 2012.
According to the analyst firm IMS Research, shipments of wireless power enabled devices are projected to surpass 100 million by 2015.
Jason dePreaux, a research manager at IMS Research comments, “Wireless power has the potential to increase convenience and improve the user experience in consumer devices like mobile phones by untethering the charging process. For these benefits to be realized, wireless power infrastructure must be deployed to enable wireless charge points in the home, at work, or while traveling without concern for compatibility. Industry alliances will play a critical role in developing this infrastructure.”
“Qualcomm is delighted to be involved in this dynamic initiative to set the standard for wireless power. WiPower™ Technology by Qualcomm is ideally suited for a forum like the A4WP. As a leader in delivering enabling technology solutions, Qualcomm is helping to define the next-generation consumer electronics experience,” said Derek Aberle, Executive Vice President and Group President, Qualcomm. “Going forward, we hope to welcome additional companies and organizations who are looking to contribute towards setting the best possible standard for wireless power.”
"A4WP will accelerate the commercialization of this technology and will contribute to expanding its market. As a founding member of A4WP, Samsung is committed to supporting standardization of wireless charging technology boasting spatial freedom, contributing to the eco-system, and exploring possibilities of a variety of services," said Executive Vice President KiHo Kim, head of Digital Media & Communications R&D Center, Samsung Electronics.
Joining Qualcomm and Samsung are: Ever Win Industries, Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic, Powermat Technologies, and SK Telecom.
A4WP will focus on the standardization of a wireless charging solution offering spatial freedom, a certification program and supporting marketing activities with the intent to expand the wireless charging technology eco-system.
In addition, members will also work on the following:
Set up and issue technical specifications
Collaboration on a wireless charging solution ecosystem
Co-operation with existing industry organizations
Securing new members from across the industry
Henry Chen, President, Ever Win International Corporation, states: “As a developer, designer and manufacturer of consumer electronic products, Ever Win International looks forward to the standardization of a wireless power solution offering spatial freedom. Such a wireless charging solution will further enhance our wireless lifestyles. The technology also offers a tremendous amount of flexibility in product design. Ever Win International is very excited to develop new and innovative wireless charging accessories based on the standards set forth by the Alliance for Wireless Power.”
“Gill Industries is excited to be part of the A4WP and partner with such outstanding innovators and leaders in their respective market segments,” said the company’s President and COO Richard Perreault. “As an innovation leader, Gill’s goal is to provide embedded wireless power solutions to our global customers in the automotive and furniture industry that increase productivity while enabling and enriching users’ lives. The A4WP will ensure the standardization needed to provide a true and ubiquitous wireless charging infrastructure.”
Peiker Acustic COO Marketing & Sales, Reinhard Kromer-von Baerle said: “As a leading supplier of mobile communication technology in the automotive area, Peiker is aware of the demands of its broad OEM customer base. To make the integration as comfortable as possible for the end consumer an adaptive charging solution is essential for our all-wirelessapproach, which also covers all multimedia and antenna functionality. The standardization realized by A4WP is one important step to secure support of current and future devices and establish this wireless charging ecosystem.”
“Wireless power becomes transformative when mobile devices are recharged automatically through a seamless network of wireless power,” said Daniel Schreiber, President of Powermat Technologies. We look forward to working with our partners at the A4WP on extending the physical layer of wireless power so that consumers everywhere continue to enjoy the very best this technology has to offer.”
SK Telecom’s Senior Vice President of Network Technology R&D Center, Jong Ryeol Kang, stated: “We believe wireless charging technology will be the most common way to power mobile devices in the near future. SK Telecom is constantly investigating new and innovative technologies to enhance mobile life and believes the A4WP specification, with its clear path towards implementation, is the way forward.