To date, the problem with wireless charging is that there are too many competing standards without a universal standard. As a result, phone manufacturers and carriers are taking sides, making it harder for consumers to choose the right standard and if they switch phones or carriers they would have to upgrade these wireless chargers for compatibility with their new handsets. However, there may be some sort of peace agreement as the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the Power Matter Alliance (PMA) have both agreed to share technology.
“The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) today announced that the two associations have signed an agreement aimed at establishing global interoperability of these two leading wireless power standards,” the companies said in a joint press release.
Noticeably missing from this Geneva peace accord of wireless charging standards is the Wireless Power Consortium, the group behind the popular Qi standard that is being used in non-AT&T versions of Nokia’s Lumia smartphones as well on Google’s Nexus devices.
The Power Matter Alliance inductive charging standard is one that is gaining increased backing as well with well received support from AT&T Mobility, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. The PMA also counts Duracell Powermat as its member.
On the other hand, A4WP is marketing itself under the Rezence brand and offers magnetic resonance charging.
Hopefully, as wireless charging becomes embedded into more devices or as they become available through optional wireless charging back covers and cases for many of today’s popular smartphones, a clear standard will emerge that will make it safe for consumers to invest in a wireless charging ecosystem.
Wireless charging offers many benefits to consumers. In smartphones, it allows for phones to be recharged by being placed on a wireless charging mat, rather than having consumers fumble with trying to insert a cable. This is beneficial at night if a consumer wants to use the phone before falling asleep. In upcoming gadgets like smartwatches and wearables, wireless charging could be built into surfaces like keyboards, arm wrests, and mouses so that when the wristwatch is near these surfaces, the wearable gadget could be recharged automatically without necessarily even having to make direct contact with the wireless charging surface or mat.