Despite having been around for a number of years now, wireless charging has hitherto never really threatened to take off. This is due in large part to the fact that current wireless charging solutions don’t really have too many clear advantages over wired charging. But rumor has it that chip maker Intel will try and change that next year by having its homegrown WREL (Wireless Resonant Energy Link) technology built into ultrabooks and smartphones.
CeBIT 2011 gets underway in Hannover, Germany tomorrow (March 1). While the main focus of the event is information and communications technology (ICT) and not consumer electronics, the five-day expo will nevertheless feature a few consumer electronics innovations. One such innovation you might not want to miss is a 22-inch display that Fujitsu claims is the “world’s first truly wireless PC display.”
Fresh details about one of HP's upcoming webOS tablets have emerged, thanks to an admittedly “massive” internal document published by webOS-centric site Pre Central. According to the leaked document, the 9.7-inch Topaz will be powered by Qualcomm's MSM8660 Snapdragon chipset that features two 1.2GHz processor cores and integrated Adreno 220 graphics. If the final product does not deviate from the spec sheet – a strong possibility at this point, it will include a 9.7" XGA (1024 x 768) screen, 512MB of DDR2 RAM, 16/32/64GB storage and a 1.3MP camera on the front. It will have different SKUs based on different connectivity options, including HSPA , LTE and WiFi-only models (former two to also feature A-GPS). A CDMA variant is also on the cards.
HP has quite a few plans for the second iteration of its Topaz inductive charging dock.Touchstone v2 will do a lot more than its predecessor by enabling a number of wireless services, including video streaming, video game playing, audio streaming and printing. Finally, HP is very keen on offering a rich cloud experience in keeing with its stated goal of making webOS a continuous client. To this end, the Topaz will support a number of cloud-based services, including Snapfish, Melodeo music integration, HP Cloud Drive and HP Cloud Canvas.
Companies like Energizer, Powermat USA, and now Fujitsu are in a bid to help consumers get rid the cable clutter for their mobile devices through wireless charging technology. Taking it one step further, Fujitsu claims its technology also offers the ability to design charging systems in 1/150th the time currently required, both shortening development time and paving the way to integrating wireless charging functions into mobile phones.
As it currently stands, most wireless charging technology consists of electromagnetic induction and magnetic resonance, which has been used in cordless phones and other devices.
"The drawbacks are that the method only works over short distances, and the power transmitter and power receiver need to be in alignment, so it is effectively no different than using a charging station with a wired connection," Fujitsu explains.
"By contrast, the magnetic resonance method, which was first proposed in 2006, uses a coil and capacitor as a resonator, transmitting electricity through the magnetic resonance between the power transmitter and power receiver."
If Fujitsu's rhetoric leaves you cross-eyed, don't worry about it -- the gist of it is that Fujitsu's wireless charging technology can transmit electricity over a range of up to several meters, and a single transmitter can be used to power multiple devices. Fujitsu is thinking beyond just cell phones and MP3 players here, the company claims potential applications even include electric cars.