Seems obvious: Enable your smartphones so that it can rest on the table and receive an instant power charge without the hassle of cables. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
Actually, the realities of wireless charging have been anything but simple. Even if your smartphone does have the capability, there’s a good possibility it may not work with the charging station at Starbucks. And iPad and iPhone users are out of luck, seeing that Apple does not want to embrace the technology.
Now you can add legal infighting among board members of a major wireless charging company to the list of reasons why you most likely won’t be able to charge your smartphone at the local coffee shop anytime soon.
Three board members of Powermat Technologies – based in Israel – sued the company and CEO Thursten Heins in late October, debating that Heins is operating without an approved budget and driving the business into insolvency. Powermat called the complaint deceptive, distorted, biased and deficient.
Powermat defended itself further in a statement last week saying that by uncovering these and other details regarding the company’s turnaround, Powermat is confident that the court will see through the malicious half-truths and substantial misstatements.
The legal drama is occurring as things were beginning to look up for wireless charging. During the past year, Powermat had managed to increase its number of charging locations seven times for a total of 1,400. Powermat’s technology was incorporated by Samsung into flagship smartphones such as the Galaxy S6 and has heavily promoted the feature. A long-standing rivalry with another wireless charging group had also been settled by Powermat, fueling the potential for more compatibility between charging stations and devices.
The lawsuit, which aims to hinder Powermat from proceeding with its current budget, could obliterate any momentum for the embrace of wireless charging. Even a temporary shutdown could injure the company’s push to produce a more commonly accepted standard for wireless charging. An obstacle could also damage the company’s odds of getting the technology into more mobile products or of increasing the number of charging stations.