Wireless Charging Technology and Development History not Everyone Knows

As technology evolves, wireless connectivity is becoming more commonplace in the home. However, not many people know the formation and development of wireless charging technology. Find out more about the history of cordless chargers.

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As technology evolves, wireless connectivity is becoming more commonplace in the home. However, not many people know the formation and development of wireless charging technology. Find out more about the history of cordless chargers.

Well, everyone knows how annoying it can be to have to wait a long time to charge a smartphone or any other mobile device. For this reason, technology giants are looking for a way each season to mitigate this torment, with superchargers capable of reducing the weight and temperature of the accessories themselves.

Wireless charging is sometimes called inductive charging (because it only requires touching the charging station). This is not new technology, but it took a while to realize.

In early 2007, a wireless charger was designed to be a car’s water bottle holder, allowing charging of phones, MP3 players, cameras, etc. Two years later, at CES, the Palm-Pre is introduced with many enhancements, one of which is the Touchstone wireless charger.

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Wireless evolution

From here, a series of significant events occur. A group of companies jointly formed the Wireless Electronics Association (WPC). That same year, Qi 1.0 was introduced to the world.

The first smartphones to use the new technology are the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and LG Nexus 4. They all came out in late 2012, and of course, not many people are interested in this standard charger.

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Other manufacturers including Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and Sony also jumped into the Qi game. But then, the battle for wireless charging format broke out when another alliance, PMA (Power Matters Alliance) was formed and created an exciting division.

While handset makers back WPC, the PMA is backed by major brands in the catering industry such as Starbucks and McDonald’s, leading to Qi support, but it is not possible to charge wirelessly for the phone when using a cup of coffee as the store uses a different standard.

It became even more interesting when the Wireless Alliance (A4WP) was formed in 2012 and launched a system called Rezence, creating a “triple” competition.

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They seem to have a good start with the support of Qualcomm, Broadcom, Samsung, and Intel – the largest chipmakers. But until now, Samsung has never released a phone that supports Rezence. Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge integrate both Qi and PMA standards.

Rezence excels in technology on paper, but that does not translate into widespread application in practice. At the same time, today, many powerful Qi charges can power multiple devices at the same time.

The Rezence charger uses the standard Bluetooth LE to connect to the device it is charging. However, Rezence is less efficient and requires more coil than Qi. In 2014, the new performance issue was partially overcome when A4WP announced Rezence supports up to 50W capacity.

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A few years later (early 2015), the PMA and A4WP merged into a single entity – the AirFuel Alliance. Even so, Qi is still proving victory. Overall, on the market today, phones and accessories (headset, a smart meter) mainly integrated Qi. Rezence is still applicable, but not on the phone.

In addition, it seems that the fourth wireless charging standard is being developed by the Open Dots Alliance and backed by car manufacturers. However, there is still no information on which phones support this technology.

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