Wireless charging “pointless” without super capacitors say analysts

Chris Davies - Aug 7, 2009, 5:28am CDT
Wireless charging “pointless” without super capacitors say analysts

Don’t tell Palm or WildCharge, but analysts Strategy Analytics reckon that right now wireless charging is “pointless”.  In fact, according to the company’s latest report, manufacturers of wireless charging systems such as Palm’s Touchstone for the Pre or WildCharge’s eponymous system are currently falling way short of their potential.

That potential, the analysts suggest, is for speed-charging.  They envisage the use of super capacitors to speed up the rejuicing process, turning something like the Touchstone – which Strategy Analytics suggest “came at a high price and offered little benefit to users on its own” – into a true solution to the ongoing battle between functionality, connectivity and battery shortcomings.

Super capacitors are used in camera flashes, where they can output a large quantity of electricity in a short period of time.  Strategy Analytics expect that, if integrated into wireless chargers, they could inveigle 22-percent of the handset market within five years.  Frankly, the thought of a fifteen minute wireless recharge giving my smartphone enough power to last another day’s use (or even half a day, I’m not that fussy) is enough to get me on-board; unfortunately to read the rest of the article I’d have to pony up $899, and that’s enough for quite a few aftermarket batteries.

Press Release:

Wireless Charging is Pointless in Isolation, says Strategy Analytics

Speed-Charging Could Quadruple its Potential

BOSTON –(Business Wire)– Aug 06, 2009 The emergence of two technologies in cellphones – wireless charging and super capacitors – may yet offer the greatest potential to improve the experience of charging our phones. Together, and at the right price, this wireless speed-charging solution could penetrate over 22 percent of handset sales by 2014. The Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service report, “Wireless Charging Will Quadruple its Potential if Combined with Speed-Charging,” reveals that the Palm Pre’s wireless charging solution came at a high price and offered little benefit to users on its own, without the added boost of a super capacitor.

The combination of super capacitors and wireless charging may create an excellent solution to the growing energy gap problem which many cellphone users are experiencing on a daily or weekly basis.

Stuart Robinson, Director of the company’s Handset Component Technologies service, and author of the report commented, “Strategy Analytics predicts that the price of wireless charging solutions will fall to around US$15 by 2014 and, if combined with super capacitors for speed-charging, could significantly increase the value proposition of wireless charging.”

“Super Capacitors have been around for many years and are now just beginning to be designed into cellphones, mainly for camera flash applications where their ability to deliver a high level of power for a short period is ideal,” added Stephen Entwistle, VP of the Strategic Technologies Practice. “Strategy Analytics believes that the technology will continue to mature and will nicely complement wireless chargers.”

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides timely and actionable market intelligence focused on opportunities and disruptive forces in the areas of Automotive Electronics and Entertainment, Broadband Connected Home, Mobile & Wireless Intelligent Systems and Virtual Worlds. Headquartered in Boston, MA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, S. Korea and China, Strategy Analytics works with clients through annual multi-client services, management team workshops and custom consulting engagements. For more information, please visit http://www.strategyanalytics.com/

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