Super-capacitor wireless charging coming

Researchers predict big business for high-speed power-ups

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If you're fed up with having to plug in your iPhone 3G S every day - and hanging around for ages while it recharges - just wait five years.

Research firm Strategy Analytics predicts that by 2014, cutting edge phones will be combining wireless charging and super-capacitors to recharge in a flash.

It estimates that over a fifth of all phones - including most flagship handsets - will have the technology within five years.

Pre-charged technology

Today's wireless charging solutions, like the Touchstone charger for the Palm Pre, use induction technology to transfer power over short distances, at about the same speed as a wired charger. Strategy Analytics says that this gives "little benefit to users on its own."

Instead, the firm foresees the arrival of super-capacitors that can provide a massive burst of juice in seconds rather than minutes. "Super-capacitors have been around for many years and are now just beginning to be designed into mobile phones, mainly for camera flash applications where their ability to deliver a high level of power for a short period is ideal," said Stephen Entwistle, VP of the Strategic Technologies Practice.

Strategy Analytics predicts that the price of wireless charging systems will fall to under £10 by 2014. When utilised with super-capacitors, they could revolutionise the way we recharge our portable gadgets. Until then, we'll just have to make do with universal wired chargers, coming our way (supposedly) by 2012.