Wireless power expands its horizons

Dinesh Kithany, Chief Analyst, Wired and Wireless Technologies (WAWT), discusses the future of wireless power

What is the state of the current wireless power market?
The market grew last year by 15% – around 700 million units shipped – and is expected to cross the 1 billion mark by early next year. 
Out of these, smartphones, electric toothbrushes and smart watches continue to be the top three applications. With these applications picking up, 7.5 billion units are expected to be shipped in the next five years and 30 billion in the next ten.

Where is the growth coming from? 
We are seeing an increase in awareness, interest and adoption across a wider range of applications across consumer wearables, medical, defence, industrial, retail, automotive and the infrastructure market. In particular, applications like wireless earphones, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) electric vehicles (EVs), electric shelf labels, cordless kitchen appliances, industrial IoT sensors, to name just a few.

What are the benefits of wireless power? 
Wireless power is not only more convenient but also provides greater user experience, facilitates enclosed designs (sealing the device), making it water- grease- and dust-proof for example. It also eliminates contact with wired cables and more importantly it offers green, environmentally friendly benefits, by requiring less or even no batteries.

When we speak about wireless power, what is the current technology landscape? 
Currently WPC (Wireless Power Consortium) low frequency induction technology has more than 95% share of the market. But to cater to other types of applications, the market is expected to see a growth in low frequency resonance – for EVs, AGVs and AMRs – high frequency resonance, NFC Forum’s charging technology and ultra-high frequency solutions like RF or infrared which can charge devices from a greater distance 

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