Having competed with the organisation's Qi wireless charging for years, Powermat today made the dramatic announcement that it has joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). That means, from today onwards, wireless charging - particularly in smartphones - should become simpler.
Up until this point Powermat and Qi were two opposing wireless charging standards. While the latter is what is found on most wireless charging devices, the former was adopted by the likes of Starbucks in a number of retail outlets offering free charging for patrons.
It almost goes without saying that if you had or have a phone with Qi charging, you couldn't use a Powermat charging base to fill it up. The two standards aren't cross-compatible.
Although the two standards were in competition with one another, it hasn't been a close battle for some time. Almost every device with wireless charging has adopted Qi, and with Apple's market-consuming iPhone joining them last Autumn, it was unlikely things were going to improve for Powermat.
As much was said by the company's CEO Elad Dubzinski: “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.”
Moving on from here, Powermat says it will work with the WPC and continue to develop wireless charging technology that's compatible with Qi.
With WPC's only competition now joining forces with it, that should mean the future of wireless charging is much simpler. Hopefully from this year onwards we won't have to wonder if a particular charging base or mat works with our phone. We just buy one, and it works.
On a larger scale, furniture with built in chargers or retail outlets, airports and so one will be able to offer wireless charging, and know that everyone with a wireless charging device will be able to plonk their device down and it'll fill up. No added special cases necessary.
It's perhaps a loss for Powermat, but a win for consumers on the whole.