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Bluetooth Smart going into wireless device chargers

Stephen Lawson | Oct. 4, 2013
Mobile devices will be able to talk to wireless charging platforms through a partnership between the Alliance for Wireless Power and the backers of Bluetooth.

Theoretically, Bluetooth could even transmit information about how much power a device has drawn from the charging pad, Gold said. That would allow users in public venues such as airports to charge a device with one of the pads and pay just for the amount of energy they consumed, he said.

The biggest challenge for wireless charging is the number of competing standards, according to Gold. Unfortunately, no one partnership or feature is going to put one standard over the top, he said. It will take a preponderance of vendors adopting one specification.

"This is Beta versus VHS. If I build a device, what standard do I put in it for wireless charging?" Gold said. "That's going to impede some of the acceptance." A divided market also holds back economies of scale needed to drive prices down, he said.

The A4WP was founded by mobile hardware giants Qualcomm and Samsung and also counts Intel among its members. The memorandum with Bluetooth is not exclusive and A4WP is open to considering other technologies that will enhance the user experience, but it's building in Bluetooth from the beginning, according to Geoff Gordon, marketing chairman of A4WP.



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