With modern life leaving people on the go and using their handheld devices more and more, the question arises of how we keep everything charged. Lugging around a power cable isn’t a solution and battery technology is still lagging a bit behind usage rates. The idea of charging a battery or device with wireless power has been considered a viable solution—albeit a relatively unexplored one.
IMS Research, a technology consultancy, released a report on Monday saying by their calculations, the industry will explode within the coming five years. While only worth roughly $100 million in 2010, IMS expects the 2016 value to be around $4.5 billion. That’s an annual growth rate of about 86.5 percent.
“From the beginning, different wireless power technologies haven’t played nicely with each other,” said Jason dePreaux, research manager at IMS Research, in the press release. “While trailblazers Palm and Powermat both share similar inductive charging approaches, their products are incompatible with one another.”
In 2010 the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) met to alleviate this issue, releasing “Qi” which are its new standards for designing and building wireless power devices.
IMS believes the market will bifurcate into two camps: those that design devices that must be in close proximity to a charging device and those that use magnetic resonance that allow the devices to be farther from the charging station. The former model has prototypes and products on the market; while the latter, with more technical challenges does not. Magnetic resonance has also not been tested for health affects.
These growth numbers are projections at this point, but its hard to miss the value of not needing to hunt around for a charger when low on juice (provided the solution is safe).