PMA: Setting powerful standards for market penetration
The PMA is working to advance the widespread acceptance of the wireless power paradigm in multiple sectors by developing a suite of standards based on accepted wireless power technologies.
PMA's wireless power ecosystem is a reference to both the intelligent, Internet-like communications layer (a la Web 2.0) being juxtaposed to the power delivery layer and the fact that this is the first major power access paradigm since the innovations of the late 19th century – the standards are poised to close gaps between existing protocols and provide a clear roadmap to scalable, advanced power provision at all consumption endpoints. PMA also manages interoperability, certification and logo programs according to these specifications.
Unlike other standards bodies in the emerging wireless power arena that focus either on proprietary technologies or unregulated specifications that offer little in real incentive for developing a widespread market pipeline for OEMs, the PMA is intent on leading and organizing our agenda to commercial realization.
As such, the Power Matters Alliance serves as a conduit of ongoing dialogue between industry leaders, government agencies and regulators, academic institutions and individual enablers, and manufacturers throughout the supply chain, empowering a logical ecosystem to drive the PMA vision to market.
At the end of the day, what good is a specification if it has no real world implementation?
OEMs in a wide variety of sectors will play a key role in ensuring the availability of wireless power charging across multiple environments.
The stage has currently been set for eliminating the need for charging cords for personal electronic devices in many upcoming automotive models that are slated for release in the coming years. The advent of an easily accessible charging surface in cars for phones and other personal mobile devices makes charging-on-the-go a paradigm that is simply and easily realized. These upcoming market introductions are a precursor of the wireless embedded future that will no doubt become prevalent throughout the automotive industry.
During the day we place our portable devices on surfaces we use for work, dining or decorations. Be it your desk, table or sofa – the portable device is placed next to you for long periods. It is natural step to take that this surfaces will be able to charge wirelessly the power-hungry portable devices, and furniture manufacturers are looking into designs to enable the surfaces become charging spots for our mobile phones, portable computers and any device that needs charging during the day, without the clutter of wires and sockets that affect the surface design. Wireless charging allows the designers to keep their original taste in the furniture's look while providing more value with new, seamless, wireless charging technology embedded in it.
Demand always drives supply. The increasing availability of PMA-compatible wire-free charging in multiple public places means that the manufacturing community must seize the opportunity and respond in kind.
When WiFi was first introduced, users needed an external plug-in device to make it work in their portable computers. Today, there isn’t a device delivered to market that doesn’t have a built-in wireless modem. Similarly, the rapid spread of available wireless charging hot spots will create a need for manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and laptops to come up to speed and make their devices ‘charging spot’ ready. And with influential carriers like AT&T leading the PMA and getting in on the ground floor of developing its specifications, there can be no doubt that OEMs who benefit from the wireless communications industry will work quickly to manufacture devices that work with the standard’s protocols and meet the demands of carriers.
Retail & Accessories
The widespread availability of wireless charging devices in major retail outlets and small neighborhood electronics stores will be the difference maker in furthering the technology’s acceptance. Simply put, you can’t adopt a technology that you can’t buy. The successful launch of Duracell Powermat throughout the US and beyond, no doubt to be followed by multiple vendors in the market, is a positive sign that wireless charging systems will become a much-sought commodity.
Finally, case manufacturers stand to gain considerably from the new wireless charging paradigm. The production of smart cases with built-in power receiving units embedded in their protective plastic mold means that any phone or tablet device can be charged on a suitably paired charging mat. Manufacturing according to the universal PMA specification opens up opportunities for manufacturers to easily produce quality wireless-ready cases that will work with virtually any charging unit.
Powering public places: Building a wireless ecosystem
Imagine sitting in a coffee shop and casually placing your phone on the table, as you are naturally inclined to do. Only this tabletop contains a wireless charging surface, so that your phone is being topped up while you chat face-to-face with a friend. Back in the office, you place your phone on your wireless power-enabled desktop or together with a dozen colleagues on the wireless charging mahogany table in the corporate board room.
The model is clear: With every public destination site, from restaurants to sports venues, theatres and office buildings to HMO waiting rooms, hairdressing salons to airport lounges and beyond adopting the wireless power paradigm, accessing the juice you need to get through the day goes from challenge to afterthought.
None of this is some futuristic wish list; it is very much in the here and now, fostered through multiple strategic alliances of PMA members and spreading far and wide into the marketplace.
Starbucks is already credited with having encouraged the proliferation and industry-wide acceptance of WiFi a decade ago. It is now poised to launch the next coffee communications revolution by introducing wireless charging spots. What will the future of working outside the office look like once charging a smartphone, tablet or laptop is as naturally simple as laying it down casually on a tabletop surface?
Madison Square Garden currently employs 600 wireless charging spots throughout the famed arena. As the lines are blurred between enjoying sporting and entertainment events live and sharing them in real time through social media, the need to keep digital devices continuously charged is obvious; If we can share the moment through wireless, shouldn’t we be able to power its delivery through wireless?