Now might be the time to familiarize yourself with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). The industry’s most recognizable standard, Qi, is facing serious competition from the PMA, which has garnered support from Duracell Powermat, AT&T, smartphone manufacturers such as BlackBerry and ZTE, and even Starbucks shops, which have begun rolling out its wireless charging tech in certain outlets. Beginning soon, you may be able to charge your compatible smartphone at European McDonald’s restaurants, too — the food service giant’s support comes courtesy of Helsinki-based PowerKiss, which is now ditching Qi in favor of the PMA. The move is arguably the Alliance’s most significant to date, and it could bring confidence to organizations currently considering their own strategies.
It’s unfortunate for consumers who may have recently invested in Qi, however — popular wireless charging spots in major European train stations, for example, will be swapping out their infrastructure to support PMA. According to PowerKiss founder Maija Itkonen, the decision was based on the standard’s new technology that enables individual charging sites to monitor usage trends and control consumption, along with significant support from companies throughout the industry. We’ve even heard speculation that Apple may soon announce support for the PMA standard, though we remain skeptical. Regardless, this is a major blow to Qi, though it could be a significant step forward for consumers — that $99 Powermat charging set might seem a more-reasonable acquisition now.