GM to Offer Wireless Smartphone Charging Next Year

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General Motors will begin offering wireless charging of smartphones in some cars next year, reports Bloomberg.

GM is an investor in Powermat, which makes wireless charging pads and smartphone cases, and will become the first car maker to use Powermat in cars, its CEO Ran Poliakine told Bloomberg.

However, there are other forms of wireless charging already in use by two car makers. Toyota includes a wireless charging system in the 2013 Avalon and Chrysler has one in some 2013 Dart models.

In the aftermarket, Audiovox Electronics announced at CES it will ship this year a $70 wireless in-car charger cradle that can fit in the car’s cup holder or sit in a suction cup mount.  It uses the Qi charging method.  Audiovox also called wireless car charging a key growth category in car electronics over the next 5 or 6 years.

Some of the competing charging systems including the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) created by Samsung and Qualcomm; the Power Matters Alliance that includes Powermat, HTC, BlackBerry and AT&T and the Wireless Power Consortium that supports Qi charging and includes Nokia, Samsung and Verizon.

Samsung’s S4 smartphone supports Qi charging.

At CES in January, Delphi also demonstrated wireless in-car charging, as further evidence the category is heating up and about to infiltrate both new cars and the aftermarket.

Source: Bloomberg

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