Expect to See Way More Wireless Charging Stations Over the Next Few Years: Technavio

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Wireless charging technology is a dream for smartphone owners the world over. And while there are already many wireless charging products available, high costs and low efficiency are leaving most consumers plugged in.

At the moment, there is no universal standard for wireless chargers, which has been the cause of some confusion among consumers and manufacturers. A single universal standard would remove any compatibility issues and hopefully create a bit more consumer trust in the product.

But despite these challenges, the global wireless charging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.1% from 2016-2020, to reach a total market value of $8.99 billion.

Comparison of four major wireless charging technologies 2014

Technavio analysts have identified three major wireless charging trends to watch over the forecast period:

Increase in adoption of wireless EV charging

The electric vehicle (EV) market is a huge revenue driver for wireless chargers. A lot of key vendors in this segment are working to develop the technology, as it offers some obvious conveniences for EV drivers.

At the moment, EVs are charged at wired charging banks, but wireless charging could mean charging on-the-go. In the South Korean city of Gumi, electric buses already use in-road wireless chargers.

Aside from the coveted ‘charging while driving’ concept, another idea is that wireless charging would allow multiple vehicles to make use of one charging bank. This would rely on the proximity of the vehicle to the charging bank, instead of a direct connection.

Wireless charging for smartphones in automobiles

Still in the automotive sphere, another big trend in wireless charging is the integration of wireless charging for smartphones in automobiles.

This would present a host of advantages to both manufacturers and consumers. It would mean that manufacturers are no longer restricted to providing a single charging point for smartphones in the vehicle—the wireless charging pad can even be integrated into the upholstery. Phones and other devices could then charge automatically when placed over the charging pad.

Analysts expect to see this technology popping up in vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Prius, and the Lexus NX in the initial stages of the forecast period. Following this, the technology is expected to become prevalent across all vehicle segments.

Wireless charging at retail and social gathering outlets

It’s not exactly a new concept for stores, bars, festivals and other such places to have areas for patrons to charge their phones.

However, offering this service requires the facility to have a variety of charging cables on-hand. Wireless charging would simply require a charging pad to charge any brand of cellphone.

As of this year, there were over 4,000 outlets in Japan offering wireless charging stations (usually embedded in furniture) for their customers, and the trend is expected to take off in force in other areas through the forecast period.