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Phones

Samsung plan wireless charging in coffee table and cars

Samsung is planning to charge future generations of Samsung Galaxy phones without the aid of wires.

Samsung is planning to charge future generations of Samsung Galaxy phones without the aid of wires. It's teamed up with chip-maker Qualcomm to develop a method of charging your phone or tablet every time you put it down.

The Alliance for Wireless Power -- or A4WP, if you're under 14 -- is a group of companies coming together to find a way to charge gadgets without plugging them into the wall with a cable. The dream is to have power beaming through the air -- thanks to the magic of inductive coupling -- for your gadgets to soak up battery juice wherever they may lie.

A4WP promises "spatial freedom" while charging "a broad base of consumer electronic devices". As well as gadget builders, the industry alliance will include automotive and furniture manufacturers, so you can charge your kit in your car by slinging it into a power-soaked glovebox, at home by dropping it onto a specially-equipped tabletop and at work by dumping it on a desk.

Best of all, you can charge multiple devices at once, so no more squabbling over the single cable in the house.

Samsung and Qualcomm are the big names in the industry team-up -- a bit like the Avengers, but with phone chargers. Phone Chargers Assemble, if you will. Other companies on board with the new technology include SK Telecom, Everwin Industries, Gill Industries, Peiker Acustic and Powermat, who have been plugging away at this wireless charging lark for a while. Or rather, unplugging away. LOL.

Wireless charging has been around for years, but hasn't yet been widely adopted. A rival to the Alliance for Wireless Power is the Wireless Power Consortium, which touts the Qi standard. We imagine there must be a Wireless Power Front and a People's Front of Wireless Power too. If there's one thing we hate more than the Romans, it's the Wireless Power Consortium. Splitters!

To use current wireless charging devices like the Powermat, you need to keep your phone in a bulky case and place it on the charging mat, which is plugged into the wall. So you phone still has to sit within reach of a socket to charge, and it's substantially thicker to boot. Until the wireless charging kit is actually built into the phone itself we can't see this tech really taking off.

That day could be approaching though. With Samsung on board we could see the next generation Samsung Galaxy phone charging every time you ditch it on the coffee table, or when you sit down at a restaurant table. Imagine if you never even had to take your phone out of your pocket! Although that might put a tingle in your unmentionables.

LG puts wireless charging technology into some phones, and Apple is also pondering a cable-free battery-boosting system. And you can already charge an electric car wirelessly just by parking on top of a charging pad. Tell us whether you would want wireless charging tech built into your phone in the comments.