Wireless industry looks to wire-free charging as mainstream solution

ABI Research has predicted wireless charging technologies as a mainstream solution could take years to bring to market, the company said.

Wire-free charging is the vision for the wireless industry, but hurdles stand in the way, which include regulatory approvals.

ABI principal analyst Michael Inouye said, “Select retailers, auto manufacturers, enterprises, and mobile leaders like Samsung and Apple are moving wireless charging forward by integrating inductive charging into smartphones and wearables. But most wire-free charging technologies still need to meet regulatory approval, which could delay product launches or even derail any momentum garnered thus far.”

The standards battle for short-range, inductive charging, and the early steps to resonant charging between the Wireless Power Consortium (Qi branded) and AirFuel is largely mitigated by multi-mode receivers, which are already leading shipments. To supplement wireless charging in the meantime, numerous companies are advancing today´s battery technology through enhancements to existing Li-ion technology. Some offer end users added flexibility and portability when charging their devices through methods like off-grid charging. But as wireless charging steps to the forefront of this market, the competitive landscape will focus less on competing technologies and more on the growing number of applications and use cases.

ABI Research said inductive and resonant charging remain the best wireless charging options for now, with shipments clearing one billion by 2019.

ABI Research is a technology research company, providing business leaders with comprehensive research and consulting services to help them implement informed, transformative technology decisions.