Nokia Lumia 920 on a Fatboy charging pillow

Wireless charging stations aren't currently very bright, but they're about to learn some new tricks. The Alliance for Wireless Power and the Bluetooth SIG are collaborating on an updated A4WP specification that uses Bluetooth Smart to manage wireless charging sessions. Future Bluetooth-equipped stations should optimize power delivery, prioritize charging for multiple devices and launch apps; you could order a meal by setting your phone down at a restaurant table, for instance. Just when we'll see these smart stations isn't certain, though. When the first A4WP-ready products aren't likely to reach the market until next year, it could be a long time before wireless chargers become truly multi-talented.

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Bluetooth SIG and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) Sign MoU Establishing Formal Liaison Relationship

  • Assures A4WP users of speedy and robust Bluetooth Smart-based power management.
  • Heralds new consumer electronics device category: the smart wireless power charging station.

New York, NY, October 2, 2013- The Bluetooth SIG and Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) today announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that establishes a formal liaison relationship and heralds the creation of a new consumer electronics device category: the smart wireless charging station.

As a first step, the Bluetooth SIG has issued a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) to the A4WP for adoption in its baseline system specification (BSS). The A4WP BSS utilizes the Bluetooth Smart radio standard to carry the session management and power control between an A4WP charging station and an A4WP-certified device, e.g., smartphone.

Benefits of the close integration of Bluetooth Smart with the A4WP standard include:

  • Consumers will benefit from devices initiating a charge more quickly when coming into contact with charging surfaces
  • Consumers will also see improved power control features such as giving one device prioritized charging when multiple devices are charging at the same time
  • OEMs and developers will be able to create a new class of applications to leverage these smart wireless charging stations (e.g., mobile payments, location based services)

"Bluetooth Smart is a foundation technology for the Alliance for Wireless Power." said Dr. Kamil A. Grajski, president of the A4WP. "By combining Bluetooth Smart with magnetic resonant wireless power transfer technology, the A4WP delivers a next-generation user experience that features one charging station to many simultaneous devices, freedom of placement on tabletops, desktops and automotive environments, and charging solutions that scale seamlessly from wireless headsets to smartphones, to tablets and laptops."

"Adoption of Bluetooth Smart into A4WP wireless power technology allows us to completely reimagine what wireless charging is and does, " said Suke Jawanda, chief marketing officer, Bluetooth SIG. "It opens the door to an entirely new class of wireless power applications, services and communication solutions that can activate when devices come into contact with wireless charging surfaces – maybe ordering and paying for a meal by simply putting your phone on a table. The opportunities are limitless, but made more realistic through this partnership."