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


Reader comments

Intel to bring wireless charging to smartphones and ultrabooks in 2013


That was a feature I loved about my WebOS Palm Pre! I just placed the phone on the induction charger each night and grabbed and went in the morning. It also switched it to exhibition mode automatically so that I could have something running on-screen in that mode on the charger.

this is a little different than the normal induction chargers like the palm pre's little pod and devices like Powermat, its "over the air", meaning it has the range of several feet. having to sit a device directly on top of something isn't really that much more convenient than actually taking the three extra seconds to physically plug in a connector. the possibility of having an entire charging zone in your living room (or eventually in every/most rooms)is a real game changer and Nikola would definitely be proud!

they are also looking in to producing large versions of this kind of device to be placed into garage floors that you drive over to charge electric only vehicles instead of having to plug them in every night

the future has finally arrived.

So this story references Samsung and "over the air" charging. Does that mean the Samsung will support "over the air" charging for the Galaxy S3????

Current induction chargers like Powermat the the Verizon "wireless" charger are totally and completely useless to those of us with protective cases. "Over the air" charging would change all that giving people like me a true wireless charging solution which supports the use of protective cell phone cases.