Wireless power: Who's leading the charge?

Monica Alleven, FierceWirelessTech A lot of people have been working on wireless charging for a lot of years. What makes anyone so sure that 2015 will be "the year" for wireless charging?

A few things are converging to make 2015 different from years past, prompting this latest feature, where we examine some of the forces that are in place that make some very smart people predict that indeed, this is The Year. Those forces include the likes of Samsung, Starbucks and IKEA, to name a few.

Sure, we're still a long way from creating the perfect world for consumers when it comes to wireless power/charging. Competing technologies continue to exist, confounding consumers who want to use one charging device for all of their wireless devices. Ideally, they would use one common technology when they move from a hotel room to a coffee shop, for example. Multi-standard solutions exist, but they are not widely deployed.

Wireless power seems like a relatively straightforward technology, but it's all the nuances that make it actually quite complicated: power transfer, heating, regulatory and other requirements. There's a need to accommodate many different types of devices, from smartphones to fitness bands, as well as the desire to oblige different industries.

But as we're seeing with the Internet of Things, the world can't wait for standards to get ironed out. The big brands are starting to roll out products, with or without the assurances the technology they're using will be the dominant one in years to come. It's a big deal if you're an automobile manufacturer or hotel chain owner retrofitting cars and rooms for wireless charging technology designed to last well into the future.

Of course, people love to talk about the "year of." I don't remember how many times we wrote about the "year of" Bluetooth. It's a big guessing game. Eventually, we came to know many years of Bluetooth, but as with Wi-Fi, there was a string of years when we waited for the masses to arrive.

For more on why some industry experts are declaring 2015 as The Year for Wireless Charging technologies, check out this new report, and let us know what you think in the comments section.--Monica