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CES: Vendors rally behind wireless charging

Wireless and two-way charging on display
Tue Jan 08 2013, 13:02
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ELECTRONICS FIRMS are showing off their advances in wireless charging at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

CES visitors are being treated to a mix of approaches, including built-in wireless charging and charging between devices.

One firm, Powerbyproxi, is talking up the former and has demonstrated its charging pad for wireless devices. Importantly, the charger is able to charge up a smartphone without causing overheating, a problem that bugs the area.

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"OEM feedback has been overwhelmingly positive to our initial samples and test data showing how far we are ahead of comparative solutions," said Greg Cross , chairman of Powerbyproxi.

"This is the most advanced wireless charging system for smartphones available today, not only because our patented design allows for full spatial freedom on the charging pad, but because we can simultaneously charge up to three devices at full speed. At last, OEMs can offer their users a wireless charging solution that doesn't involve a compromise on performance."

Powerbyproxi said that its charging system uses a receiver that stays cool enough to do away with a screen or protector. It said that its pad could be used to charge three devices at once and at fully wired speeds.

Perhaps more exciting is device to device charging, something that a firm called eCoupled has shown off at CES and in an earlier teaser video.

In the video we saw a couple exchange power between a tablet and a smartphone by placing one on top of the other and effectively turning the tablet into a charging mat.

eCoupled said that it uses the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi standard for wireless power, and as a result both pieces of hardware will have to include its technology to be recharged.

Also at CES the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), which is chaired by Google's Vint Cerf, announced that 30 more companies have joined its ranks.

Firms including case manufacturer Otterbox and NXP Semiconductors have signed up to the PMA, joining businesses like Starbucks and AT&T.

"We're very excited to be joining the PMA, at a time when wireless charging is gaining considerable momentum and is becoming a key consideration in the deployment of new technologies," said Michael Bruno, senior director of Business Development of Emerging Technologies at NXP Semiconductors.

The PMA wants to set a standard for wireless charging, so naturally it is happy when big names in the industry join its roster.

"I am thrilled by the speed and quality of our membership growth" said Ariel Sobelman, president of the PMA, "PMA membership is now comprised of undisputed global leaders in their respective category - each dedicated not only to creating a global standard, but to implementing a real-world wireless power ecosystem here and now." µ

 

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