A future where smartphones and other electronic devices start recharging automatically every time they're sat on a desk, table or counter has just come one step closer to becoming reality as two of the three competing standards have agreed to merge into one entity.
Unlike many other types or technology or technological format, there is no universal standard for wireless charging. So while all Blu-ray discs fit all Blu-ray players, if you have a wireless charging enabled device, there's only a one-in-three chance that it will work with a charging pad other than the one in your own home. That's because there are three separate organizations, with three slightly different forms of the technology that all want to be the standard inside consumers' next tablet, camera, smartwatch or phone so that it can be charged up wirelessly.
Well, that was until Monday, when two of the three, the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Alliance For Wireless Power (A4WP) announced that they were formally signing a letter of intent to merge.
The deal won't be finalized until mid-2015 -- it's will take a few months to come up with a new name and to decide how to harmonize the two wireless charging standards each organization previously championed so that existing devices supporting one of the standards work with new charging pads and other systems developed in the future. But it does mean that device makers will be more confident about integrating the feature into upcoming devices.
However, before consumers start getting excited and start sizing up the latest Duracell wireless charging cases, there is still one other competing standard -- the QI standard -- championed by the oldest wireless charging organization, the Wireless Charging Consortium out there in the wild and with pretty heavyweight support including from Samsung and Microsoft.
However, according to the Wall Street Journal, it is prepared to sit down and discuss the future with its competitors in order to push the technology forward.