Wireless Charging: The Revenge
Back in 2009, when Palm first released the Palm Pre, we got our first look at wireless charging with Palm’s “touchstone”. It was awesome. All you had to do was set the device on the special little plastic platform and it would kind of stick to it with magnets and start charging the battery. The Palm Pre had some cool touchstone related features too such as activating speaker phone when docked and automatically answering when an incoming call is active and you remove it from the touchstone. (You can see our original Palm Pre review here.) Of course we all know what happened to the Palm Pre and its extremely innovative wireless charging capabilities. Needless to say, you won’t find that anywhere these days. We thought wireless charging was dead and gone.
However, last week, Nokia announced their new Lumia 920 and 820 Windows Phones along with new support for the Qi wireless charging standard and a bunch of cool accessories that combine wireless charging with NFC and Bluetooth connectivity. The JBL Power Play speaker system looks especially interesting since it includes both a wireless charging pad as well as wireless music via A2DP Bluetooth and NFC. The Wireless Power Consortium actually announced last week that there are about 110 consumer products out there already with support for the standard Qi wireless charging with about 8.5 million devices already out there. We’re also seeing Qi wireless charging pads appear in airport lounges and certain tables in clubs. You’ll find 3rd party accessories that can add wireless charging capabilities to many types of existing phones via a special battery cover replacement. There are even rumors that Apple may support wireless charging in the future, however, who knows if that will be compatible with the Qi standard.
Are you planning on investing in any Qi compatible wireless charging accessories for your current or future phones? Do you think it will succeed this time?