Newly formed AirFuel Alliance calls for global unity in wireless charging

Two of the most influential bodies in wireless charging have joined forces under the brand of the AirFuel Alliance, with the ultimate aim of creating a single wireless charging standard.

Wireless power transfer, or AirFuel technology, is the next step in fast-tracking the commercialisation of wirelessly charged products, according to Ron Resnick, president of the AirFuel Alliance who called for a ‘new inclusive ideal of wireless charging’.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) have united behind the banner of the AirFuel Alliance with a mission to use their combined might to bring about better user experiences and advanced wireless charging standards. However the Wireless Power Consortium, which champions the Qi standard, remains a separate entity.

The merger of A4WP and PMA, announced earlier this year, creates an organisation that lets 195 technology companies speak with one voice, according to an AirFuel Alliance spokesman. One of the first priorities will be to speed up the impact of wireless power transfer technology through inductive, resonant and future standards. This, says the Alliance, will benefit consumers as much as network operators, commercial and retail brands and the consumer electronics industry. Members of the Alliance also include semiconductor and manufacturing partners.

As inductive and resonant technologies advance, the alliance will continue to support the use of multimode systems that can use both versions of the standard. It is also developing technologies that go beyond the use of magnetics via the uncoupled working group.

The unification began in July 2015 but now the new organisation reports it has now fully integrated its teams and committees. In October, the alliance hosted the world’s first joint inductive and resonant plugfest, where 14 companies tested over 40 receivers and transmitters to gauge compliance and commercial acceptance.

After the brands associated with the former A4WP and PMA identities are retired (subject to a period of grace) all certified products will carry the AirFuel name and logo.

“The introduction of AirFuel is a clear step in the right direction for true wireless charging. The AirFuel Alliance is committed to bringing to life technology that uses AirFuel while continuing to be open to further industry consolidation,” said Resnick.

The change won’t come a moment too soon for consumers, according to Sanjay Vora, Intel’s VP of User Experiences, “Wires are a major consumer pain point,” said Vora.

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