Wireless power body charges standards

The Wireless Power Consortium – a body dedicated to the development and promotion of an international wireless power standard – this week released the 0.95 technical specification for review by its members, suggesting that a version 1.0 release is not too far away.

The consortium said it will undertake prototype testing of wireless charging at a members’ interoperability test to be held in September.

Under the Consortium’s plans, all electronic devices bearing the ‘Qi’ symbol could be charged on any charging pad or surface marked with the same ‘Qi’ logo. The global wireless power charging standard is targeted at low power devices that are five watts and below, such as mobile phones and personal music players.

Members of the Consortium include ConvenientPower, Duracell, Hosiden, Fulton Innovation, Leggett & Platt, National Semiconductor, Olympus, Philips, Samsung, Sanyo, Shenzhen Sangfei Consumer Communications, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.

A solution to wireless power transfer has been sought since Nikola Tesla first revolutionised our understanding of electricity. Earlier this year, boffins at the Nokia Research Centre used the electromagnetic radiation emitted from wifi transmitters, mobile phone antennas, TV masts and the like (ambient radio waves) to harvest 3-5 milliwatts using current prototypes test circuits in the lab.

The target is to hit 50 milliwatts, which would be enough to eventually re-juice a phone with a flat battery.

Previously, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have focused on magnetically coupled resonance as a way of providing wireless electricity.

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