Group to work on wireless laptop-charging specification

The Wireless Power Consortium also finalized a low-power spec for smartphone charging

The Wireless Power Consortium said Monday that it will start working on a new specification for wirelessly charging laptops.

The consortium will develop a medium-power wireless charging specification with a maximum output of 120 watts, said Menno Treffers, chairman of the steering group at the Wireless Power Consortium. That should be enough for wireless charging of devices like laptops and netbooks, he said.

Wireless charging entails placing rechargeable devices on mats or pads containing transmitters that put out a charge. The devices contain coils that wirelessly receive the power.

The consortium's initial goal was to tackle charging for low-power devices, said Treffers, who is also director of standards at Koninklijke Philips Electronics. On Saturday the consortium finalized a low-power standard of up to 5 watts of power for charging devices like smartphones, Bluetooth headsets or power tools, Treffers said.

Work on the new medium-power specification will begin soon, Treffers said. He said that devices adhering to the consortium's specifications would carry the Qi certification logo.

The low-power standard took about 18 months to complete, and Treffers said the technology will initially be implemented in mats, but also could be embedded in furniture such as tables. Energizer has said it would release a mat to charge as many as two devices, for about US$100, and charging sleeves for iPhone and Blackberry devices, for $30 to $40.

Right now there are multiple wireless charging technologies, and standardization could prevent consumers from getting locked into any single technology, Treffers said.

"If we don't standardize, the volume of these products will stay.... niche. By standardizing we can [push] it into every household," Treffers said.

iSuppli is predicting the wireless charging market will grow quickly. Shipments of wireless charging products could total 3.6 million this year and grow to 234.9 million in 2014, the market research firm said in a June 30 study.

For now the low-power specification is being distributed to consortium members, and will be opened up to other companies on Aug. 30. Products can be certified through tests by independent labs.

The consortium is not working on over-the-air wireless charging as the technique is inefficient, Treffers said. There are also concerns about bodily exposure to a magnetic field. By placing a device on a pad, the magnetic field stays with the receiver, and the charging can be quick and efficient.

Some notable Wireless Power Consortium members include Energizer, Fulton Innovation, ConvenientPower, Philips, Nokia, Research in Motion, Texas Instruments, LG Electronics, Verizon and HTC.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags peripheralsBatteries / fuel cellshardware systemsComponentslaptopsWireless Power Consortium

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?