Alliance for Wireless Power targets wireless laptop charging, signs up Dell

The Alliance for Wireless Power is on a roll. Mere weeks after announcing a standards partnership with the Power Matters Alliance, the group added Dell to its list of backers on Thursday. Not so coincidentally, the A4WP also announced a new initiative to extend its “Rezence” magnetic resonance technology to devices that drink a bit more juice than mobile devices.

The A4WP’s new higher-powered initiative targets charging devices ranging from 20 to 50 watts, a.k.a. consumer laptops.

“Extending the Rezence specification to include higher-power, more capable devices like Ultrabooks and 2-in-1’s is a necessary evolution that will help to accelerate charging station installations and bring a truly enjoyable ‘No Wires’ user experience to more users,” Sanjay Vora, the general manager of Strategic Planning for Intel’s PC Client Group, said in the A4WP’s press release.

ROBERT CARDIN

The A4WP’s new standard would allow laptops and hybrids (like Dell’s own superb XPS 12) to charge wirelessly when the technology became available. 

Intel’s been envisioning a charger-free existence for laptops for a while now. Beyond joining the A4WP last year and reducing the energy needs of its Haswell and Bay Trail processors, the company also beefed up the battery life requirements for the latest round of Ultrabooks.

That lofty ideal isn’t quite there yet, though. While a small legion of companies have signed on with the Alliance for Wireless Power (including Qualcomm, Samsung, HTC, Broadcom, LG, and Panasonic), a Rezence-powered product has yet to actually hit the streets. And even if A4WP merges its standards with the PMA, there’s that pesky Qi consortium competing for mainstream attention with its own spin on wireless charging, and its inductive charging can already be found in numerous smartphones.

Yes, a single wireless charging standard would be swell. Nevertheless, the idea of charging your notebook sans charger is downright drool-worthy. With the “first major PC original equipment manufacturer” on board the A4WP’s vision, a truly cable-free laptop lifestyle just took a baby step closer to becoming reality.

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