“From the beginning, different wireless power technologies haven’t played nicely with each other,” said Jason dePreaux, research manager at IMS Research. “While trailblazers Palm and Powermat both share similar inductive charging approaches, their products are incompatible with one another. Last year, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) unveiled its own standard called “Qi” which several big name mobile phone makers have begun to incorporate into recent products on an accessory basis.”
IMS Research expects battle lines for an industry standard to be drawn around two different implementations of wireless power. One camp comprises companies promoting tightly coupled wireless charging, which requires devices to be in close proximity to the charger. Both market leader Powermat and WPC’s Qi specification are examples of tightly coupled wireless charging.
The other camp, which includes the likes of Qualcomm and Witricity, use magnetic resonance which does not require the device and charger to be so close. However, no products utilizing loosely coupled charging techniques have been released to date and it still needs to undergo safety and emissions testing scrutiny.
“Ultimately, it will be self-defeating for the industry to continue to pursue non-interoperable standards long-term,” dePreaux added. “Our forecast assumes that while competition will be fierce in the near term, a combination of market forces and industry alliances will coalesce to form a de facto standard for interoperability in the next several years.”
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