One of the highly appealing features that Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has packed inside its new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones is wireless charging.For users, this translates into being able to charge their handset’s battery without plugging it into a wall socket, though the feature does require the use of specific charging plates and the like.
However, chances are that the technology will go mainstream in the near future, and that users will be able to charge their devices wirelessly in a multitude of places and not only at home.
In fact, Menno Treffers, the chairman of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), suggests that, several years from now, the feature will be available everywhere around us.
“Wireless charging will be everywhere: hotel rooms, office furniture and coffee shops. People will be able to top up the battery of their phone everywhere,” he says in an interview with Nokia Conversations.
“The transmitters work forever, as there are no connectors and no moving parts. So there are no maintenance problems, you just build it in the infrastructure and keep it there.”
Nokia’s Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones come with support for the Qi standard, which means that they are compatible with a wide range of wireless charging products, so that users could take advantage of the feature broadly.
“Any product bearing the Qi logo is a guarantee of interoperability, which offers both convenience and peace of mind for the people who buy them,” Nokia Conversations notes.
However, it might still take some time before this technology indeed invades the market, especially with over 100 technology and electronics companies currently working on the standard.
The Qi standard was adopted eighteen months after the consortium met for the first time, and Treffers notes that the main obstacles in the proliferation of the wireless charging come from organizing the ecosystem around it.
However, companies are expected to adopt the technology and include it in more devices in the future, which will eventually lead to users being able to wirelessly charge phones almost everywhere around them.
“In Japan, wireless charging has been mainstream for a while and you can already see the benefits appearing. The more people that have wireless charging phones, then the more places will provide wireless charging facilities,” Treffers said.