Wireless charging is nothing new, with one of the mobile world’s earliest examples being the Palm TouchStone dock for the Palm Pre. Despite being around for years, wireless charging has still yet to take off in a major way.
Sure, more flagship mobile devices are seeing support for the technology, but it has been a relatively slow-going process. Part of the problem is that there is no unified standard, even if Qi is slowly starting to move towards such a position.
Right now most devices that support wireless charging seem to use the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi standard, though some devices and phone cases stand behind the Power Matters Alliance standard. To complicate matters a bit further, we are now seeing the introduction of a third standard as well.
Last year the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) formed in order to create a new wireless brand, which has now been officially announced under the name “Rezence”.
A4WP has quite a few powerful backers including Samsung, Qualcomm and Intel — though most of its partners also support other wireless standards including Qi.
What makes Rezence special is that it ditches the inductive charging technology used in the other two standards in favor of non-radiative magnetic resonance.
With inductive charging, devices need to be laid in specific way on a charging pad in order to connect. With Rezence, you can have multiple objects on the same pad that can be moved around. The technology will even work through minor obstructions such as piece of paper or even a magazine.
A4WP is also interested in bringing its Rezence technology to more than just tablets and smartphones, with plans for products such as laptops, cameras and more.
Although both Qi and PMA are working to add some of Rezence’s more flexible features, Rezence promises to have the first devices out starting in 2014, with several products expected to be shown off at CES in January.
It still remains unseen which of three wireless charging brands will eventually become the sole standard. While Qi has made a lot of ground towards that end, Rezence’s more flexible approach to wireless charging could certainly prove to be a roadblock for the Wireless Power Consortium.
What do you think of wireless charging? Is it something that should be standard on all mobile devices or are you fairly indifferent when it comes to the technology?