New wireless charging partnerships could mean fewer cables in your junk drawer

In 2012, Qualcomm and Samsung joined forces to start The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), one of many organizations competing to establish a universal standard for wireless charging. A4WP envisions a wire-free future, but chances are you're still packing a series of cables to keep your gadgets juiced up. However, the group just announced a pair of partnerships that could lead to a more unified standard and less corded clutter. WiTricity, one of the major competitors in the wireless-charging space, and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), a leader in inductive wireless charging, joined forces with A4WP today. While they each have their own wireless charging solutions, the PMA and A4WP have committed to sharing some of their specifications to create a wireless power couple of sorts. McDonald's and Starbucks stores already use the PMA's standard in their charging stations.

In 2011, WiTricity announced a partnership that will see its contact-less, long-field magnetic resonance used to power up Toyotas. With the new partnership, it plans to innovate on and incorporate A4WP's Rezence specifications into its designs. Rezence, A4WP's consumer-facing brand, uses near-field resonant technology to allow users to wirelessly charge several devices with different charging specifications simultaneously. We've yet to see a real-life device sporting Rezence certification, but A4WP showed off a prototype during CES last year, and announced its first certifications last month. WiTricity joined A4WP as a sponsor, which means it gets a seat on its eight-member board of directors, alongside Broadcom, Intel, Qualcomm and Samsung. The group's main competition comes from Qi's Wireless Power Consortium, where Qualcomm also sits on the board.