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Samsung, IT firms to make wireless charger

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Published : 2012-05-08 19:07
Updated : 2012-05-08 19:07

Joint project to develop device that charges remotely


Samsung Electronics said Tuesday it has joined forces with other IT giants like Qualcomm and SK Telecom to develop a different wireless charger from the current device-on-pad method.

The world’s largest maker of smartphones said it has formed a group called the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) to introduce the resonant wireless battery charger. Members include Germany’s Peiker Acustic, U.S.-based accessory firm Ever Win International, furniture company Gill Industries and Israel’s Powermat along with Samsung, Qualcomm and SKT.

Low battery life has often been thought of as the biggest issue when using smartphones, especially those running on the fourth-generation Long Term Evolution networks.

The so-called “resonant Qi charger” could deliver 5 watts through a 40 millimeter table top into a Q receiver, indicating that the handsets does not have to be placed on the charger but some distance away from it.

For instance, one could charge its smartphone by just putting it on top of the wood-made desk while the wireless charger is located in its drawer, said Samsung officials.

As an initial step, the group will be equipped with Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone Galaxy S III with wireless charging technology, commercializing the solution for the first time globally.

“A4WP will expand its presence in the market jointly with the commercialization of the wireless charger,” said Kim Ki-ho, executive vice president of Samsung’s Digital Media and Communications research and development center.

“We will also work on technology development as well as the standardization of the wireless charging solution to expand the service into a variety of services.”

According to market research firm IMS Research, the number of handsets supporting wireless battery charging is expected to grow to more than 100 million units by 2015.

The event comes as Samsung has chosen to double its options on wireless charging methods for smartphones.

The country’s IT behemoth is also the member of the Wireless Power Consortium, which has a standardized inductive wireless charging method.

LG Electronics, which is a WPC member, has already introduced the technology with its flagship smartphone Optimus LTE 2. Other WPC members include Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Panasonic and Pantech.

The inductive wireless charging enables smartphone owners to fill up their batteries by locating it on top of the charger.

“We have to think of why Samsung chose to make such a move when there is already a standardized method for the wireless charging solution,” said an industry source. “The low reception rate during charging and the possible harm it could cause to the body are pointed out as the to-be-solved problems for the resonant charger.”

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)

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