For the last 6 years, a standards war has been waging between the Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi and Powermat, an alliance formed by Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance.
Qi was always dominant outside the USA, but in the USA Powermat had several important supporters, including Starbucks and AT&T, meaning many users were stuck with a phone which either supported one or the other and a smaller installed base of wireless chargers available.
Everything changed then Apple finally weighed in and chose Qi, with Powermat acknowledging that the battle is now over.
Today the WPC announced that Powermat has joined the consortium, with Elad Dubzinski, Powermat CEO saying:
“Qi has become the dominant wireless charging standard on the market and the recently launched Apple iPhone lineup is evidence of this success. Powermat will share technology innovation to further unlock wireless charging potential, and will expedite the growth of the wireless charging infrastructure, bringing wireless charging to wherever users need it”.
Powermat will continue to develop their technology, but maintain backward compatibility with Qi, meaning users can finally rely on a baseline level of charging functionality wherever a wireless charger is being advertised.
“Powermat was one of the pioneers that recognized the value of wireless charging. By joining WPC, it further unifies the wireless charging ecosystem behind the Qi global standard, which will accelerate wireless charging adoption and make it more convenient for consumers to use wireless charging wherever they go. WPC will leverage Powermat’s expertise in technology innovation to support more use cases including higher power and expanded special freedom,” noted Menno Treffers, Chairman, WPC.
Currently, more than 360 companies are part of the WPC, and with a universal standard now agreed I expect we will get embedded chargers showing up in many, many more places, including our cars, furniture and random electronics.