Intel's reference smartphone at CES 2012

According to DigiTimes' "upstream supply chain," Intel is readying technology that will wirelessly charge Intel powered smartphones via over-the-air induction. To put it in layman's terms, hardware inside the phone will be able to grab low power electricity from mid-air and charge the battery. It's safe, and already has a standard in the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi method, which we've seen in action with contact induction charging on the Thunderbolt. The real barrier, according to the sources has been cost.

Both Sharp and NTT Docomo have launched devices that charge wirelessly via the Qi standard in Japan, but prohibitive costs have kept it from becoming the norm. Samsung was expected to release a similar product this summer, but the project has been delayed until the end of 2012 or early 2013. 

What's different about Intel's rumored offering is the power "source". Supposedly to debut on ultrabooks, a chip inside the laptop will transmit power through the air to an Intel powered smartphone, like Orange's San Diego model. Intel's resources and software group can likely bring the price point down to more reasonable levels, which other OEMs could integrate into their hardware. 

Hopefully options that consist of a wall socket that works stand-alone with the correct smartphone hardware will follow soon, then we can stop worrying about battery life and just buy a sub-station for home and the office. It's one way to address battery life issues that smartphone users suffer from on every platform, and with Intel behind it, it becomes a real possibility now.

Source: DigiTimes