Qualcomm, Powermat & Duracell team on wireless charging

Wireless charging has long been a possibility but not an entirely straightforward one, but that could change if Qualcomm has its way. The chip company has announced alliances with Duracell and Powermat to explore new wireless charging technologies and potentially establish an industry alliance to push a power standard.

The alliance will take advantage of the three company's hitherto independent research into wireless power: Duracell's MyGrid, Powermat's eponymous system, and Qualcomm's own Wipower system. With Powermat, Qualcomm will explore a dual-mode receiver ASIC backward-compatible with both technologies, while moving forward Powermat's range will be based on Wipower altogether.

As for Duracell, it seems they and Qualcomm will be pushing Wipower as a standard moving forward. If the three companies can manage to gain enough weight in the wireless charging industry, it's possible we could see Qualcomm-based smartphones including wireless power tech as standard in the future.

Press Release:

Qualcomm Signs Letter of Intent with Powermat to Investigate New Wireless Power Solutions for Consumers

Emerging Wireless Technologies Paving the Way For Next Generation of Wireless Powering Solutions

LAS VEGAS – January 06, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Powermat Ltd., the leader in wireless power, announced the signing of a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore the possibilities of developing cutting-edge wireless power solutions.

According to the terms of the LOI, Qualcomm and Powermat intend to: investigate the convergence of tightly and loosely coupled wireless power technologies to deliver a flexible coupling wireless power solution; work together to build an industry alliance that supports flexible coupling-based wireless power; investigate the development of dual-mode receiver ASICs that work with Qualcomm's Wipower™ technology and that are backward compatible to Powermat's charging mats; and have Powermat offer a single-mode wireless power solution based on Qualcomm's WiPower technology that will supplement the current Powermat product line.

"We are extremely excited with the prospect of working closely with one of the industry's premier wireless power companies to bring innovative wireless power solutions to market," said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm. "Qualcomm has leveraged its deep heritage of wireless innovation to develop what we hope will become the technology of choice for flexible coupling-based wireless power. We look forward to building this new industry alliance and seeing the potential solutions that flexible coupling-based wireless power can create for a new generation of consumers."

"Together, Powermat and Qualcomm have the opportunity to make a world without wires a reality. Our vision is to change the way in which people charge and power electrical devices in all environments and create an unprecedentedly convenient, safe and green user experience. Collaborating with Qualcomm is the perfect approach to bring the vision to reality," said Ran Poliakine, Powermat CEO.

Qualcomm's innovative WiPower technology, a new near-field magnetic resonance technology used to charge battery powered devices such as smartphones and tablets, will be on display at the 2011 International CES, January 6-9 in Qualcomm's exhibit located in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Upper Level #30313. Powermat is located in Central Hall #7905 and will be displaying numerous applications of its commercially successful wireless power technology.

Press Release:

Qualcomm and Duracell to Explore Working Together to Bring Benefits of Wireless Power to Consumer Electronics Market

LAS VEGAS – January 06, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Duracell today announced the signing of a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore the possibility of working together to develop an industry alliance that supports and promotes flexible coupling-based wireless power solutions to the consumer electronics industry. Qualcomm and Duracell hope to pave the way for broad OEM and consumer adoption of a new wireless power technology and to advance an industry standard. Qualcomm and Duracell believe that flexible, coupling-based wireless power solutions deliver a new level of consumer ease of use to wireless charging. A demonstration of the potential of this type of wireless power, using Qualcomm's WiPower™ wireless charging technology, is available at the 2011 International CES, January 6-9 in Qualcomm's exhibit located in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Upper Level #30313.

"Touching and improving lives is at the heart of P&G's company vision. Similarly, Duracell is an innovator in the personal power space to enable consumers to live their lives unconstrained. Making power available to consumers wirelessly will be the perfect fit to enhance the mobile lifestyles we lead today and will enable countless future innovations," said Stassi Anastassov, Duracell president. "If you think about the revolution that wireless data transmission has brought in recent years, we think we are on the threshold of similar innovations that can make power available just as easily as the WiFi connections that are so familiar today. We are delighted to be exploring the possibilities of wireless charging with Qualcomm, an innovation leader in the mobile technologies people are using to connect."

"Duracell is recognized around the world as a leading provider of quality power solutions for consumer electronic devices," said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm. "We are excited to explore working with Duracell and hope to advance industry adoption of flexible coupling technologies, such as Qualcomm's WiPower."

Qualcomm's WiPower wireless power technology uses radio frequencies to transfer energy wirelessly over short distances between a transmitter-equipped charging pad and devices containing built-in receivers. Dependent upon the combination of devices, including handsets and other popular consumer electronics devices, multiple devices can be charged concurrently using WiPower, typically at rates equal to wired solutions. WiPower is designed to shut down automatically when charging is complete. Qualcomm's WiPower allows for flexible device alignment, which provides greater flexibility for design and installation into phones and other applications such as commercial and passenger vehicles, office and home furniture, and communal spaces such as airports or coffee shops.

The Duracell brand has been powering consumers' lives for more than 40 years, not just through the familiar battery, but also with wireless products, lighting and peripheral charging devices that allow the freedom of using devices when away from the grid.