10 wireless charging technologies on display at CES 2013

Wireless Power Consortium CES 2013

The Wireless Power Consortium had an especially large display at CES 2013, and rightfully so. Bas Fransen, chief marketing officer at ConvenientPower, says the WPC has grown from 80 members to 140 in the past year. Here are 10 innovative technologies designed to the transformative Qi wireless charging standard that were on display at CES.

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2013 Toyota Avalon wireless charging
2013 Toyota Avalon

The first car ever to offer wireless smartphone charging, the Avalon is equipped with technology from PLDS that enables wireless smartphone charging in the center console just below the stereo.

Fulton Innovation’s device-to-device charging

At CES, Fulton Innovation showcased its eCoupled technology, which enables a transfer of power from one device to another. The technology is not commercially available yet, but it is expected to be soon. Fulton says its main goal is to embed wireless charging in tabletops or grocery aisles.

iLuv MobiRock wireless charging speaker
iLuv MobiRock wireless charging speaker

Combining near-field communications (NFC) and a chip designed with the Qi wireless power standard, iLuv's MobiRock speaker charges Qi-enabled smartphones while streaming audio through the speaker.

Nokia wireless charging pouch
Nokia wireless charging pouch by Fatboy

The pouch is available in several colors and charges the smartphone simply by holding it. And although it has Nokia's name on it, any Qi-enabled power source -- even the pouch -- is compatible with any Qi-enabled device.

iPhone 5 wireless charging case
iPhone 5 wireless charging case

A big knock against the iPhone 5 is that it wasn't designed with wireless charging capabilities. But with a Qi-enabled smartphone case, iPhone 5 users can get the same charge from a pad, pouch or any other device designed to the Qi standard. Similar cases for iPhone 4/4S are far more prominent, but those for iPhone 5 should be more easily available soon.

JBL charging boombox
JBL charging boombox

Similar to the iLuv MobiRock, the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker can both charge a device and stream audio wirelessly. Its design, however, enables compatibility with more devices. Because the Qi standard makes all devices compatible, the flat-top surface can charge any device that can lie on top of it.

wireless tablet charging
Wireless tablet charging: Coming soon

At CES, a Texas Instruments device was on display that charged a tablet wirelessly, but if you want to buy one in stores, don't hold your breath. The Qi standard isn't optimized to put out more than 5 watts of energy yet, but Fransen says it should be able to accommodate up to 15W by early Q2.

Wireless charging tablet cases
Wireless charging tablet cases

Also on display at the WPC booth at CES was a mysterious Qi-enabled case that could accommodate a small tablet. Operating in the same way as the iPhone case, the case would make even tablets that aren't embedded with Qi technology capable of charging wirelessly.

Integrated coil for manufacturing
Integrated coil for manufacturing

The coil that enables wireless charging, pictured, is just the beginning. At CES, TDK showed a single chip that consolidated both near-field communications and Qi wireless charging hardware. At the same time, ConvenientPower had a smartphone circuit board with Qi-optimized coils built into it, which would make manufacturing Qi-enabled smartphones easier.