@DrQuine, good points. The shorter life cycle of smartphones changes the game. But still, someone has to pay for a charger...and there is no assurance for whatever wireless charger you invested in will last long enough to amortize your investment...
What are the costs of the wireless charging technologies? Is it practical to build a device that can support all 4 competing technologies? If such a "universal" device were made, would software updates be sufficient to accomodate subsequent device enhancements?
Until a stable standard is in place - or there is assurance of upward compatibility - consumers cannot rationally invest in the systems.
[Of course with the short SmartPhone technology life cycles, people used to buying new chargers for each new SmartPhone may be willing to expend the same funds on a new wireless charger for each generation. If so, the vision of standardized chargers for phones will have been defeated by the evolving wireless charger technologies.]
I will say the article covering two different application techniques, one for the mobile phones, tablets etc, and second for in-ear and internet of things kind of devices.
The first will not be having much acceptance in the broad market of it, only few top end customers will be ready to spend more for wireless charging, but the second application technique based on RF will become and essential entity if it proves its chargeability in real world applications.
In principle, going wireless with any devices is a good thing -- for offering convenience (ease of use) and clutter-less environment.
But really, who will be the main market for this wireless charging? Home, Cars, public space (like cafes and airports)? I am struggling to find the business reasons (or key advantages) for any institutions to invest in such charging stations.
@Jessica, I am actually consulting on a project right now that is using the Qi system. I would like to say that we chose it because of its technical superiority, but the cold reality is that the company owner has a co-marketing deal with that company. They probably have the upper hand right now, but if Apple or Samsung created critical mass by going another way it could be left out in the cold. The comment in the article about confusion due to competing standards is very true. The worst case is if each of those two elephants choose different standards, with maybe Sony choosing something else. That would stretch out the battle, which in the end doesn't really help anyone - much less the consumers.
Wireless charging is very exciting and certainly one of the areas we will expect some innovations in the next 4-5 years. The era of bundling cables with phones is going to be over soon. I bought a laptop few months ago and there was no single CD inside it. If it crashes, you can recover online. I hope it does not get there as I have no idea what that means except maybe I am to make a startup Flash key in case.
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.