In its Wireless Power report, Pike Research says the technology is beginning to see wider acceptance and will become an increasingly ubiquitous form of charging for a number of applications, growing to a market value of $5 billion by 2020.
Pike Research forecasts 3.74 million wireless power systems for mobile devices will be shipped in 2012. That number is set to grow to 11.87 million in 2013, 15.74 million in 2014, 20.86 million in 2015 and 27.63 million in 2016, it said.
The wireless power market is led by charging systems for mobile and consumer electronics devices, the report said, including applications that have already taken shape through standardisation on a worldwide scale.
Through the integration of wireless power technology, a wide range of devices and machinery can be charged plug-free, Pike Research says, from military and medical devices to electric vehicles (EVs) and unmanned aircraft.
The report, which was published on Friday, said the increasing adoption of feature-laden and power-hungry devices, particularly smartphones, is creating high demand for convenient and inexpensive charging systems.
According to Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, wireless charging technology has matured, leading to a potentially larger range of applications.
From originating with simple inductive charging mechanisms that require a direct point of contact between charger (transmitter) and device (receiver), such systems have evolved to the point of providing an intelligence that will see devices becoming connected to the wider power infrastructure, the research company said.
Several mobile providers, including Verizon Wireless in the US and NTT DOCOMO in Japan, have begun integrating wireless charging systems into mobile devices, it said.
“The barriers to adoption for wireless power are lifting, and it’s clear that this is an environmentally friendly set of technologies that, before the end of the decade, could contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions and embedded energy used to produce, ship and dispose of conventional charging equipment,” said Eric Woods, research director at Pike Research. “Wireless power will become a ubiquitous form of charging in many applications.”
Pike Research says the future of wireless power will lie in moving toward a “smarter connected power infrastructure”, including wireless charging ‘hotzones’ similar to Wi-Fi hotspots. In the UK, Nokia’s Lumia 920 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphones are some of the first handsets to feature wireless charging.