Dave and I saw several demos back at CES showing off wireless power solutions for cord-free gadget charging. However, here I am nine months later still lugging a zillion power cables in my computer bag. (Though Dave does have a solar-powered Bluetooth headset.) Unfortunately, universal wireless power doesn’t seem any closer to reality today than it did back in January. But, as if to argue the point, a press release landed in my inbox announcing a new commercial deal between two “wire-free power” companies, WildCharge and WiProwess. WiProwess now has a licensing agreement allowing it to help companies integrate WildCharge technology into their products.
The interesting part of the news is not so much the licensing agreement as the potential applications of it. I asked the WiProwess folks to send along further details on product implementations, and got a range of applications for car, hotel, and office environments. Much like luxury cars today get embedded GPS apps, iPod docks, and even Wi-Fi, I can easily see an automotive brand partnering up with a company like WiProwess to bring wire-free charging pads to front-seat consoles. Similarly, a high-end hospitality or office furniture partner might use wire-free charging to boost its brand image. The critical thing here is getting distribution partners so that wire-free power as a technology doesn’t have to sell itself one consumer at a time.
Of course, the whole wire-free proposition will be a lot easier to market once it doesn’t include proprietary technology and a lot of adapter tips. But if you’re an early adopter with some extra cash, check out the products available now from the WildCharge website. (David Pogue liked the hardware he tested late last year.) A WildCharge Charge Pad now goes for $50 alone, or for $70 or $80 when bundled with a gadget skin or adapter.