Wireless inductive charging technology is set to surge with the release of the first industry standard for wireless chargers for mobile phones and other gadgets.
The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) announced the Qi 1.0 spec, an open standard finalized in July that covers low-power charging up to 5 Watts and can be downloaded for free from the WPC web site.
The “Qi” logo (pronounced “chee”, as in the Chinese character for “vital energy”) will signify to consumers that the products are independently certified interoperable.
The first Qi-certified products out of the gate – unveiled at a launch event Thursday in Hong Kong – include inductive charging mats from Hong Kong-based company ConvenientPower and battery maker Energizer.
Energizer also launched a Qi charging sleeve for the iPhone 3G/3G S and a Qi door for the BlackBerry Curve.
WPC chairman Menno Treffers said the consortium standard was critical for wireless charging to catch on, citing an iSuppli report from June 2010 that said wireless charging unit shipments would spike from 3.6 million this year to 240 million by 2014 – but only once an industry standard is in place.
“Without a standard, the wireless charging market will be heavily fragmented with incompatible products, and customers will hesitate to adopt them,” he said.