The Verge || Former wireless charging rivals join forces as new AirFuel Alliance

The world of wireless charging has been split, over the past few years, between three major groups. That’s changed today, as two of the three organizations — the Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance — have merged, forming the new AirFuel Alliance. The new group, which counts 195 member companies from AT&T to Starbucks, will use its branding on compatible devices.

THE TWO ORGANIZATIONS AGREED TO SHARE TECH LAST YEAR

The two organizations announced their intentions to merge earlier this year, having previously agreed to cosy up to each other and share technology back in February 2014. The move pits the newly minted AirFuel Alliance against the single remaining competitor, the Wireless Power Consortium, but it won’t be an easy battle to win. The WPC champions the Qi charging standard, used by a number of existing wireless chargers, built into some Ikea furniture, and used inside Microsoft’s flashy Nokia-branded charging ring released earlier this year.

Most major tech corporations, including Microsoft, Samsung, and Qualcomm, have played all the sides of the wireless charging fight so far, joining both the WPC and the two groups that now make up the AirFuel Alliance. It makes sense for major firms to wait and they see who comes out on top, but means that we’re still not close to reaching a consensus on how we’ll wirelessly charge our phones in the future. For now, at least, the charging methods supported by both parties aren’t compatible — if you find yourself in a coffee shop with a low battery, you better hope that the owners have sided with your phone’s favored wireless charging solution.

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