Chinese company ZTE has officially joined the Power Matters Alliance, which is dedicated to bringing standardized wireless charging technology to the next generation of mobile devices.
As well as ZTE, the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) also boasts Google, AT&T and Starbucks as members. The organization claims it is committed to establishing and rolling out a standardized form of wireless charging technology so that consumers will no longer be tied to their charging cables. "Battery life has always been a challenge for manufacturers of smartphones as well as a bottleneck in advancing smartphone development," said Mr. Kan Yulun, Corporate Vice President of ZTE Corporation and CTO of the ZTE Mobile Device Division. "Wireless charging is one of the next big innovations in smartphones and we are currently conducting research and development in this area in the hopes of enriching consumers' lives through increasingly intelligent solutions."
Though still in its early stages as a technology, a number of current smartphones -- such as the Nokia Lumia 920 and the LG Nexus 4 -- already incorporate wireless charging and Starbucks and McDonald's are currently in the process of testing wireless charging points (integrated into their tables) at various locations in the US and Europe.
The problem that wireless charging hopes to overcome is the fact that there is currently no standard charging cable -- different companies use different types of plugs and connecting cables. While Samsung favors a micro-USB cable, Apple has its own unique Lightning connector. Cable-less charging would bring uniformity to all devices immediately. The widespread adoption of wireless charging points would also have another benefit -- extending the battery life of the growing number of mobile devices the average consumer drops into pockets and bags every time they leave the home. If, every time a device was placed on a table, it automatically charged, then smartphones and tablets would always be in full working order.