Samsung, Qualcomm (News - Alert) and a handful of other mobile technology companies are banding together to form the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), an independently-operated organization that will focus on creating a global standard for wireless device charging solutions. The group also includes the likes of Ever Win Industries, Powermat Technologies and SK Telecom (News - Alert).
As Gigaom points out, the problem with the new consortium is that a similar organization – with a nearly identical mission statement – already exists. Created back in 2008, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has a goal of building an open standard that eliminates the need for proprietary and incompatible chargers. Sounds familiar, no?
Compounding the problem is the fact that Samsung (News - Alert) is already a member of the WPC – a group promoting a wireless charging standard known as Qi. Powermat too joined the WPC in 2011 and backed the Qi standard for a period of time, but has since ended its relationship with the group (Powermat is no longer listed as a member organization on the WPC's website).
So the question remains: How do you promote the global standardization of wireless power transfer technology by creating a second alliance, one that presumably supports either a different standard or a different ecosystem?
Right now the answers are few and far between. Gigaom's Kevin Tofel speculates that the WPC's scope could be too narrow for companies like Powermat, Samsung and Qualcomm, which are looking to provide spatial freedom across a wider array of devices and segments, including semiconductor products, automotive, furniture, test equipment, cellular operators, and retail.
"Either that or Powermat sold Samsung and Qualcomm on its own proprietary technology which uses custom device backs and or batteries to provide the wireless charging capability," writes Tofel.
The A4WP's vision includes: a simple, easily-implemented wireless power control system and transmitter and receiver antenna design; a single specification that will address simultaneous charging of multiple devices ranging from very low power products to sophisticated tablets; and the ability to transfer power through non-metallic surfaces.
More details will be shared at a at the launch event scheduled for May 8.
Edited by Rich Steeves