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Two of the Wireless Charging Standards Bodies to Merge

The combined entity still faces competition from at least one other charging standards effort.

Duracell

Two of the many wireless charging efforts said Monday that they plan to merge into a single organization, though they will still have multiple technical approaches.

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA), which said last year that they would work together on future standards efforts, now plan to form a single entity.

“The ‘standards war’ narrative presents a false choice,” A4WP president and board chair Kamil Grajski said in a statement, noting that other wireless standards, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, can coexist peacefully. “The A4WP PMA merger is in the same spirit: Enable the market to apply technologies to their best use cases.”

Wireless charging has been slow to take off, in part because of the competing efforts that included these groups as well as others such as the Wireless Power Consortium, which operates under the Qi brand.

Importantly, though, even this combined effort isn’t settling on one technical standard and will still promote multiple technology options. It does pave the way, perhaps, for fewer competing approaches in the future.

The most prominent charging efforts today, including the PMA and Qi approaches, use inductive charging and can only replenish a single device from each wireless charging spot at a time. Future efforts, using resonant technology approaches such as that promoted by A4WP, hold the promise of recharging multiple devices at once. And all of these “wireless” charging devices require the charging base itself be plugged into an outlet.

There are other, more far-out efforts that look to recharge devices truly over the air without the need for a charging base.

The PMA effort got a big boost from Starbucks, which has begun a nationwide deployment of that technology within its coffee shops. Major players, including Broadcom, have been pushing for greater cooperation.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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