The Qi wireless charging standard is one of the most popular wireless charging solutions, but it still has limitations. Since it solely uses inductive charging, your device has to sit on a charging pad to work. That removes the hassle of plugging in a USB cable, but you’re not exactly going to be using your phone if it’s glued to a power mat. Fortunately, it looks like the Wireless Power Consortium is going to be adopting a new technology into the Qi standard that will allow devices to charge at a slightly longer distance.
AT&T’s LG G3 does support wireless charging, but if you’ve invested in any Qi charging mats, don’t expect them to work. The AT&T version of the device will only work with PMA (Power Matters Alliance) charging pads, which includes offerings from Duracell and a few other companies. AT&T has pretty publicly tried to support PMA charging instead of Qi, so this move makes sense for the company, even though it’s not great for customers.
Both Samsung and Microsoft today have announced that they are joining the Wireless Power Consortium. In doing so, the companies will adopt the Qi wireless charging standard. Samsung already belongs to, and in fact co-founded, the Alliance for Wireless Charging group; however, the A4WP agreed to work with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) last month in order to make wireless charging a less fragmented system.
For Samsung, this is interesting as it shows they are willing to utilize another wireless charging standard. For Microsoft, however, it is a no-brainer since Nokia’s handsets utilize the WPC’s Qi wireless charging system. The WPC, A4WP, and PMA all have different standards, but this deal can move the three closer together in creating an overall cohesive experience for wireless charging.
Hit the break for the full press release.
Wireless charging is something consumers want, but the manufacturers continue to take their time agreeing with a standard. We have the Alliance 4 Wireless Power and the Wireless Power Consortium. Both include partners such as Qualcomm and Samsung that are members with both organizations. A little messed up to say the least.
Last year at CES, I met with the Alliance 4 Wireless Power, and this year, I met with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), WPC is committed to Qi technology, which seems to be the most logical since that is pretty much all we see in the wild. Now if manufacturers would stop fooling around and implement it in their devices, we might start seeing the benefits of wireless charging.
Charging pads at home is just one aspect, but charging pads in the car and commercial establishments is where the future is. WPC showed me a couple of new products for the automobile, so hit the break for a quick hands on video.
Google’s wireless charging pad for the Nexus 4, 5, and 7 are finally available on the Google Play Store, 3 weeks after its initial announcement. Its official name is the Nexus Wireless Charger and costs $49.99 (plus tax and shipping). Shipping time is currently listed as 1-2 days and is only available in the U.S. and Canada. Remember, although the device is listed as compatible with the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 7 (2013), it will work with any Qi supported device.
If you don’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for an official Nexus branded charging pad, go ahead and buy.
Source: Google Play
Qualcomm was a founding member of the Alliance for Wireless Power, or A4WP. That’s important to remember, as they’ve just announced they’ll be joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the rival group of wireless charging that backs the Qi wireless charging standard. So now, Qualcomm is in the odd position of being a member of two separate groups that are both trying to make their own technology the standard of the entire industry. It’s a weird situation, but it may mean that we’ll finally, eventually see one type of wireless charging become the standard in the entire industry, with all major players adopting that one standard.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will always be able to charge the traditional way, but if you’re wanting to charge it wirelessly, Qi charging accessories will be coming soon. Qi issued an official press release today announcing their work on wireless charging accessories for the S 4. They didn’t mention a release date or price, but with the latest flagship Samsung smartphone coming out towards the end of April, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the accessories available around then. Currently, Qi is used in products by Motorola, LG, Sony, Toshiba, Nokia, HTC, and many more.
Source: Business Wire
Just a few weeks ago we saw a wireless Qi charging pad pass through the FCC for Samsung devices, and according to some sources, we may see that Qi charging adopted in the Galaxy S IV. It won’t be embedded into the device, but Samsung may offer an extra back plate to support the inductive charging technology.
Samsung hasn’t been a pioneer in wireless charging the way they’ve tried to innovate other hardware aspects of their mobile devices, but they are a part of the Alliance for Wireless Power, so they’re certainly committed to keeping the latest, greatest tech in their devices. Although the A4WP doesn’t promote Qi charging, I can definitely see why Samsung wants to keep their options open. With how popular the S IV will undoubtedly be, if Samsung does choose to support Qi charging, it’s definitely more likely to get mainstream attention than some other inductive charging methods.
LG is using MWC to formally announce its WCP-300 wireless charging accessory. The charger was developed for portability and convenience for consumers— so you know it’s going to come with some pretty impressive dimensions. The unit comes in at only 6.9cm in diameter, effectively making it the world’s smallest wireless charger. In addition to that impressive feat, the charging unit is also Qi-certified and features electromagnetic induction, which produces a magnetic field that creates an electric current in order to give those batteries in devices placed on the charging pad some extra juice. As of this time, the WCP-300 is only limited to the LG Spectrum 2 and Nexus 4 smartphones, but we’re hoping that we more devices compatible with the unit sooner than later.
More details can be found once you hit the break to check out the full presser from LG.
When we heard Fulton Innovations was demoing a tablet that could actually charge your smartphone, we had to take a look. Come to find out, that’s not the only thing the company is showing off at CES 2013. Rather, Fulton Innovations has big plans in store for wireless charging, and especially the Qi standard found on devices like the Droid DNA and LG Nexus 4.
The company envisions a future where manufacturers can release cheap, electron-infused sheets of paper with things like speakers or buttons that can be powered by your smartphone or tablet. Who would have thought we could utilize the same standard we use to charge our device to actually power other objects. Pretty darn cool.
Check out our official hands-on after the break.