Hi Bert, the Shakespearian allusion not withstanding, there are many cases that warrant wireless charging, some as Junko mentioned are handy when you are travelling or in places where more clients need charging outlets than are available. Or in cases where you are missing any charging cables!
But I agree with your point on efficiency and further wastage of energy. Efficiency is the key to limit such wastages. Couple of years ago I saw a presentation on Capacitive charging where 83% efficiency was demonstrated over a 6x10mm area at 0.5mm separation.
One of the things that convinced me that this might take off was cellular operators' interest and their involvement in wireless charging.
With the backing of the cellular operators (who obviously want to know where your phones are placed -- beyond the information your phone's GPS is giving out), this will happen over time. (if no operators are interested, infrastructure buildout is unlikely to happen.)
More importantly, once operators say that this is something they want, handset vendors jump; and chip companies need to supply solutions. And consumers will be gladly to accept. After all, who wants to carry a power cord with your phone?
Of course, if you talk about the difference in cost between an outlet with an extension cord and a pad, the argument for using wireless charging at home loses. But when your smartphone battery barely lasts for a day, you do sometimes wish if you could "tap it off" -- just in a few minutes -- some place in public so that you can call someone.
It is much ado about nothing, IF you have a nice benign environment. Make it nasty like the stuff military hardware has to endure, and then an environmentally sealed charging method suddenly looks very attractive from a reliability stand point. Connectors are the number one failure mode of almost anything electronic. Period.
If you want to see resonant proximity charging on a much larger scale, surf on over to http://www.witricity.com and see power transfer into the low kW range for EV's. We are currently working with WiTricity on an adaptation of their system for an autonomous military system in a harsh environment.
As this technology matures, it will become much more prevalent. Consumers will pay for convenience. They always have and always will.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.