Market Insight

Wireless charging headlines from CES 2016

January 12, 2016

David Green David Green Research and Analysis Manager, Smart Utilities Infrastructure

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Last week saw the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 kick off the year for wireless power news! The event often creates a lot of hype and always delivers an exciting array of new gadgets and technologies, with this year no exception. In case you missed it, here’s everything you need to know on wireless power developments:

The newly named AirFuel Alliance made its mark when it unveiled a new logo and announced global regulatory FCC approval and worldwide expansion of its certification program for its wireless charging solutions. This takes us one step closer to commercially available resonant products.

Other announcements made by AirFuel Alliance members included ConvenientPower launching the world’s first Rezence v1.3 certified wireless charger (which claims to charge through metal casing), while Kube Systems added wireless magnetic resonance charging to their portfolio of charging solutions.  Availability of Rezence-standard transmitters continues to build, although the wait for commercially available receivers continues right now – IHS expects many more announcements for the rest of the year as resonant technology finally takes flight.

Meanwhile, the Wireless Power Consortium also made some big announcements last week, most notably the addition of Dell as an alliance member. In light of this announcement, Dell unveiled a Qi certified wireless monitor designed to charge smart phones by magnetic induction.

Other announcements made by WPC members included the partnership between Aircharge and Xentris wireless to bring Aircharge wireless charging solutions and accessories to the United States, and Belkin and Integrated Device Technology releasing their first dual mode wireless charger to customers worldwide. The charger is designed to work with mobile devices and wearables enabled with either Qi or PMA technologies.

Bridging across all standards, NuCurrent announced its new Qi, AirFuel (both PMA and Rezence) and proprietary wearable wireless charging coils, allowing device manufacturers to remain open to all possible standards.

Beyond tightly and loosely coupled, let’s not forget the uncoupled technologies that made headlines at CES this year.  Energous demonstrated its new wireless charging solution for wearable devices - the solution uses the company’s WattUp (“over- the- air” radio frequency) technology but in a much smaller form factor, for example the transmitter could be the size of a USB flash drive! Ossia caught headlines by demonstrating its “Cota” wireless power platform at the show and also announced a recent investment made by Molex as they chase their first commercial launch of consumer-ready products.

Last but by no means least in wireless charging automotive news, Nissan announced plans to unveil a new wireless charging system at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year.  IHS expects automotive OEMs to start launching wireless charging enabled electric vehicles by the end of 2016.

And that’s a wrap! Clearly 2016 is set to be a great year for wireless charging technology designers and electronics manufacturers alike.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Wireless Power and Charging team at IHS Technology using the details below.

For more information on the IHS Wireless Power Intelligence Service, including the five predictions for wireless power in 2016, click here.

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