Thankfully, things are about to change. The FCC has approved a power-at-a-distance charging tech which we can call an actual wireless charger. Known as WhattUp, it can power devices up to 3 feet away by sending electricity in the form of radio frequencies beamed with the help of a WhattUp Mid Field transmitter.
If you remember, an MIT-based startup called Pi created a similar contactless wireless charging device. But it uses a different wireless charging tech based on magnetic resonance.
When required, WhattUp can automatically provide wire-free charging to multiple devices (fitted with a receiver) at once including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, keyboards, fitness bands, etc. It also supports contact-based wireless charging which is helpful for fast charging large battery devices.
People would take advantage of the interoperability and use WhattUp devices the same way they use WiFi. That means a WhattUp-enabled device would be compatible with a transmitter made by some other manufacturer.
Energous, the San Jose-based startup behind the wireless charging tech, is working on both external and inbuilt receivers for devices. Other than Mid Field transmitters, they are also developing Far Field transmitters to cover extended spaces and low-power Near-field transmitters which could be embedded in devices like laptops, and monitors and charge connected peripherals.
Currently, there is no commercial product available on the market that supports WhattUp. The first power-at-a-distance wireless charging tech would be showcased at CES 2018 in January.