As we become more reliant on mobile devices, battery power has become a commodity. Several companies working in several different areas showcased solutions to this problem at CES.
Intel's press conference on ultrabooks also included an exciting announcement - the next generation of ultrabook processors will drop power consumption to 7 watts. Previous ultrabooks were praised for consuming only 15W, so the drop could mean a monumental shift in tablet and notebook battery life.
Meanwhile, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) had a wide array of wireless smartphone charging technologies on display. The Qi wireless standard that the WPC promotes makes for great compatibility - any mobile device with Qi technology is compatible with any Qi-enabled wireless energy source, regardless of who manufactured it.
That means we could expect to see wireless charging for all smartphones in new places. Smartphone cases designed with Qi wireless charging technology were on display at CES, and bring the capability to popular smartphones, such as Apple's iPhone, that were designed without it. By embedding the technology in the smartphone case and equipping the case to plug into the iPhone, the device will receive a charge from any wireless charging source.
Toyota provided another example, releasing its 2013 Avalon with the first-ever in-car wireless smartphone charging technology built directly into the center console. Meanwhile, Fulton Innovations displayed a device-to-device energy transfer technology that allows one smartphone with full battery to share energy with another one that's dead.
And it won't be long until the same capabilities come to tablets. Bas Fransen, chief marketing officer at ConvenientPower, says work is almost complete to extend the Qi standard to medium-power devices, meaning those that consume up to 15W of energy. Texas Instruments had a wireless tablet-charging dock on display in the WPC booth, but officials said it won't be commercially available for quite some time.
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