8 Places Wireless Charging Is Hitting Mainstream

Wireless charging may well be the most exciting development that has come down the pike in recent memory. The ability to charge a favorite electronic device without pesky cords is a dream come true. Now, real products and applications for wireless charging are showing up in the real world.

This market is exploding. The global wireless charging market is predicted to reach $7.161 billion in 2017, growing from $456.86 million in 2011 at a growth rate of 57.46% annually, according to a report released last month by

At least in part, the development of a wireless charging standard is supporting growth and adoption in the market. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has developed the Qi standard and is also working to drive adoption in the industry. “We are a consortium of 210 companies that compete but still cooperate to create a standard,” John Perzow, vice president of market development for the WPC told EBN in an interview. “The best minds in the industry working together has resulted in a standard that is robust, low cost, and consumer or application centric.”

Meanwhile, the Power Matters Alliance, another newer industry alliance has developed an alternative (and not compatible) standard, which in turn has been integrated into the Powermat technology.

The Qi standard focused on making wireless charging reasonable for high-volume, low-cost consumer applications. The WPC was formed in 2007, with ratification of the initial standard in 2008. Now, 678 products adhere to the standard, with more arriving every day. “There are 15 million users of Qi products with wireless charging with a Qi logo on it since 2007,” said Perzow.

Click on the slideshow below to take a look at where wireless charging capabilities are showing up right now.

(Image: NTU Singapore)

(Image: NTU Singapore)

13 comments on “8 Places Wireless Charging Is Hitting Mainstream

  1. docdivakar
    December 12, 2014

    I find the ones at home, office, airports, in-flights (or trains & buses) and in the car as the most useful in my case; I don't care about the rest like Starbucks or McDonalds!

    MP Divakar


  2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 12, 2014

    I'm not on board with the wireless charging… i could imagine it being a great thing at tradeshows or in airports. Maybe theme parks? Anywhere where you are using your phone a lot, and are likely to run out of battery power.

  3. docdivakar
    December 12, 2014

    @Hailey: Believe it or not , most of my friends who use iPhones are the ones looking for some place to plug in! They could sure use wireless charging 'hot'spots! I carry an Android phone and it lasts all day and still has more than 50% charge left. But I only use it for emails and calls.

    At IEEE PELS in Silicon Valley, we visitied the topic of capacitive wireless charging nearly three years ago, link below:

    MP Divakar

  4. SunitaT
    December 14, 2014

    Please, mobile makers need to make better battery smartphones. All this running around with a portable charger and finding out hotspots for charging is really troublesome. Especially iPhones. They last so little.

  5. SunitaT
    December 14, 2014

    There should be one is every train. Because with lengthy journeys we tend to take tension about the remaining charge on our smartphones.

  6. Patrick_yu
    December 14, 2014

    I like the freedom offered by wireless charge.  But, what about efficiency especially when I also want quick-charge.  For this to happen, the charging current has to be reasonably large at 2A and above.  If my infant bay is sitty next to me in a cafe outfitted with high-power wireless chargers, can the owners or insurance company assured that my baby will not become retarded in her/his latter years?  Furthermore, can the wireless charging reach efficiency of >95%, which the wired charging can easily reach in theory? 

    I look forward to hearing a confident “YES” from any of the experts in the field.  Please!

  7. Patrick_yu
    December 14, 2014

    I like the freedom offered by wireless charging.  But, what about the efficiency especially when I also like to have my smartphone/tablet/notebookPC charged up to say 70% within half an hour?  Based on the input from many R&D engineers & architect, for these to be realized, the charging current has to be reasonably large at 2A and above.  Assuming a scenario in which my infant baby is in the baby-chair next to me in a cafe outfitted with high-power wireless chargers.  Can the owner of the cafe or the insurance company assured me that my baby will not become a retard in her/his latter years?  Furthermore, can the wireless charging reach efficiency of >95%, which the wired charging has no problem to reach in theory? 

    I look forward to hearing a confident “YES” from any of the experts in the field.  Please!

  8. docdivakar
    December 14, 2014

    @WY: the electromagnetic emissions from the contact-less chargers is very minimal and energy transfer happens at close proximity. Most don't have any radios unless the design includes additional features like WiFi built into chargers. Capacitive charging benefits include low electromagnetic radiation. We are not talking Tesla's experiments (of remotely energizing a light bulb!) so there is no danger of any one going 'retard' over the years!

    The charging efficiency depends on how tight the coupling is in either inductive or capacitive type.

    MP Divakar

  9. Patrick_yu
    December 14, 2014

    MP.  Thank you for the comment.  If analytical comparison (especially in the area of EMI leakage and efficiency of practical implementation) between the 3 different wireless charging topologies (i.e. inductive, magnetic, capacitive) are available, I would appreciate a web link. 

    In fact, the article missed another major industry effort – A4WP.  Therefore, the consumers & producers who are interested at wireless charging likely face two issues up-front:

    1) Which one to bet on, especially when WPC & A4WP claimed to be on the way to merge their technologies: A4WP, WPC, PMA?  In particular, Intel and quite a few system OEMs are said to be behind A4WP, Samsung/Qualcomm/TI are behind the WPC, etc.

    2) Correct me if I am wrong, A4WP and WPC are also proposing a methodolog in which the mobile devices can be at a small distance (> 1cm) from the wireless charger.  Such flexibility sounds attractive to the typical consumers.  Would the possible EMI leakage from such Use Case be very small or next to negligible?

    Unless these 3 industry bodies can lay down a clear answer or trustworthy guidance first to the technology producers (i.e. semiconductor vendors, test houses, firmware developers, IHVs, ISVs, system OEMs, EMSs, test equipment OEMs, component vendors, etc.), there will be a lot of confusion and wavering commitments to wireless charging).  My two cents.

  10. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 15, 2014

    Thanks for the copy of the presentation, Docdivikar. Very helpful indeed. I'll admit that i'm an  “iUser” and the more i can do with my phone, the quicker i go through battery life. Lately, if i have an all day event where i know i'll be using my phone I carry a backup battery. Wireless charging would certainly be a boon to me!

  11. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    December 15, 2014

    @WY, you pos interesting questions. Thanks for briging up A4WP. I learned something from you. I  am doubtful that these three industry groups can/will work together. However, I suspect that one or the other will eventually win out. Think about beta/VHS wars of the 1980s. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  12. Patrick_yu
    December 16, 2014

    Do you know that Apple refused to join the rest of the mobile phone and wireless operators while they committed to use only microUSB for charging connector on mobile phones, first in CY2009 and secondly time this year, all at MWC? 

    Many OEMs (and probably mobile phone industry later) and semiconductor vendors will work together to launch the USB type-C connector and USB PD Specification.  Together, these would allow tablets, notebook PCs, and smartphones to connect to chargers with reversible connector (i.e.  you can plug this into the connector in the dark without worrying about the exact orientation) and charge current up to 5V/12V/20V at 3~5A.  Imagine how quickly the battery in your smartphone can be charged up.  Unfortunately, Apple is not in this group of OEMs, and it will unlikely join the group based on its usual character.

    Anyway, how easy/quick the mobile devices can be charged up is becoming very interesting.  No doubt “wireless” or “no new wire” is convenient from the Use Case point of view, but there are price to pay, among which the efficiency (i.e. do we want to kill more trees) and EMI leakage need to be overcome before wireless charging can achieve the lasting and universal appeal.

  13. t.alex
    December 27, 2014

    Wireless charing is the best idea of all time so farv 🙂 Starbucks start to have spots on the table where you can charge your phone wireless. I love it so much and many and many public places start to implement it. 

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