While you can plug a USB cable into your notebook or Ultrabook today to charge your smartphone, Intel is hoping to cut out the cable in the future by allowing your Intel-powered laptop to wirelessly charge nearby devices.
The chip-maker has joined the Alliance for Wireless Power, or A4WP, to back that consortium’s wireless charging standard, which rivals standards being promoted by Power Matters Alliance and the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi. The three wireless charging standards will be battling it out to see which will become the de facto wireless standard for consumer electronics in the future.
Along with Intel, A4WP also is backed by Qualcomm, Samsung, Broadcom, and other players while the Power Matters Alliance is being supported by AT&T Mobility, BlackBerry, Samsung, HTC, and LG among others.
“Intel believes the A4WP specification, particularly the use of near-field magnetic resonance technology, can provide a compelling consumer experience and enable new usage models that make device charging almost automatic,” Intel general manager Navin Shenoy said in a prepared statement.
“In joining A4WP, we look forward to working alongside other member companies and contributing to standards that help fuel an ecosystem of innovative solutions capable of simultaneously charging a range of devices, from low-power accessories to smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks.”
In a post on ZDNet, the publication says that Intel wants to leverage the wireless charging capabilities not only to wirelessly charge Ultrabooks and laptops, but to also use Ultrabooks as a charging plate so that the notebook could provide wireless charging to nearby tablets and smartphones. This may help to eliminate the clutter of wires that many tech travelers carry with them while working remotely.
Whatever the case is, wireless charging probably will remain confusing for some time to come until there’s a clear winner. Right now, competing standards make accessories and charging plates incompatible. For example, the Nexus 4’s wireless charging capabilities cannot interact with accessories made for the Nokia Lumia range.