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OPLIN 4cast #423: Power to the (wireless) people

Posted in 4cast

revolution fistSo you have public Wi-Fi in your library, and your users are thankful. But how about power for recharging their wireless devices? Do they have to carry a cord and sit by the wall so they can plug in? Restaurants and coffee shops, the other popular places for public Wi-Fi, are increasingly providing wireless recharging stations at their tables, so users can simply lay their smartphones on a charging pad and load up on power. But nothing new is ever simple, and there are competing technologies for wireless charging at the moment. Recent news may make the choice of charging equipment a little easier for everyone.

  • Alliance for Wireless Power merges with Power Matters Alliance to push wireless charging standard (FierceWireless | Mike Dano)  “The A4WP was founded in 2012 to push the Rezence-branded technology for magnetic resonance wireless charging, and it counts Broadcom, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and others as members. The PMA was founded in 2012 to push its inductive charging technology, and its backers include AT&T, Duracell, Powermat Technologies and Starbucks, which has added PMA-capable chargers into some of its coffee stores. The groups said they would now jointly push wireless charging due to the merger, but that both technologies would continue to be available so that members could use whichever made the most sense.”
  • Alliance for Wireless Power and Power Matters Alliance agree to merge (Chip Design | press release)  “Consumers will gain access to an exciting and enhanced battery charging and power management experience sooner across the full spectrum of devices in daily use. Mobile network operators and commercial and retail brands can commit to the necessary investment confident of stable, long-term evolution and management of innovative wireless charging technologies.”
  • Two rival groups pushing wireless charging declare peace (Wall Street Journal Digits | Don Clark)  “The two groups had already made signals that they were moving closer together. Meanwhile, the third group—called the Wireless Power Consortium—claims 200 members including Philips and Microsoft. It supports a standard called Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), which it says combines elements of both inductive and resonance technology. Most Windows Phone handsets, and some Android smartphones are currently Qi compatible.”
  • Key wireless charging groups A4WP, PMA agree to merge (CNET | Roger Cheng)  “The two groups believe the merger will close by the middle of 2015, and plan to chose a new name for the combined group. The WPC, meanwhile, said the merger wouldn’t have an effect on its efforts to bring wireless charging capabilities to the consumer. ‘The two groups are filling gaps with technology the other didn’t have, and they have been behind in rolling out commercial products,’ said John Perzow, vice president of market development for the WPC.”

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