Inductive charging is increasingly gaining traction, and several companies have stepped forward to attempt to stake their position in the expanding market. Energizer has debuted its entrant, using technology from the Wireless Power Consortium called Qi (pronounced “chee”). From what I’ve seen and gathered, it looks like the company has the upper hand on its competitor.
Duracell also has its own option, called “MyGrid,” but it requires a an attachment or case to be attached to the device. The difference with Qi is that the technology would be built into the devices itself, and could charge any device requiring less that five watts of power.
Representatives from Energizer tell me that they expect Qi-equipped mobile phones to hit the market as soon as this holiday season. Of course, there’s going to be your holdouts — Apple the most high profile (shocking right). For those there would be cases much like previous solutions. But the aim here is for true wireless charging without any attachments.
Nokia, Philips, RIM, Sanyo, and Texas Instruments are among the WPC’s major partners. Other companies such as HTC, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Verizon have signed on as associate members. It appears Duracell is also playing both sides — WPC’s website also shows them as an associate member.
iSuppli believes that there is a broad market for inductive charging, saying that by 2014 as many as 235 million devices will have the capability to be charged wirelessly. This expected boon in the sector is the reason why the WPC worked to develop a standard that all parties could agree on.
I’m a big fan of these type of technologies. Anything that eliminates clutter and a mess of wires is good in my book. It’s also heartening to see a whole host of companies working together to prevent segmentation of a nascent market — something I’d argue has effectively permanently retarded the high-definiton DVD industry.
Energizer’s Qi charger goes on sale next month for $89.99.