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Monday, January 9, 2012

IEEE plugs into Wireless power standards

The IEEE announced at CES a broad effort to identify known and missing standards for delivering power and energy services to a wide variety of consumer and automotive electronics systems. As one part of its work, the Power Matters Alliance expects to define a digital layer above today’s wireless charging technologies, enabling software and services to interact with power intelligently.

Duracell, Facebook, Google, General Motors and Powermat are among the initial members of the group. Its work will span areas including automotive, mobile, computing, consumer electronics, smart batteries, household power, and power in public places.

PMA will flesh out the suite of standards under the name Power 2.0 that will be used to provide advanced power to devices, the IEEE said in a press statement. It will reference existing standards and define gaps that new standards will address.

"The PMA has set itself the goal of defining the next generation of protocols for smart power, and it has the backing to deliver on this promise," said William Stofega, program director of mobile device technology at market watcher International Data Corp.

"The Power 2.0 specification will enable developers to create applications and services atop our wireless power platform," said Chris Thibodeau, of the electrical systems, 12V energy, and UI design group at general Motors. "We look forward to working with the rest of the industry to ensure that Power 2.0 becomes the standard across the automotive sector worldwide."

"The PMA aims to bring a layer of intelligence to the power distribution and consumption ecosystem," said Vint Cerf, chief internet evangelist at Google. "This idea has also been recognized in the Smart Grid effort launched by the US Departments of Commerce and Energy," he added.

"The PMA could open the door for managed power," said Bruce Nordman, a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "We can reinvent our electricity from the bottom-up, with nano-grids for a system architecture modeled on Internet principles so that a table with embedded wireless power could act as a nanogrid, and so can a car," he added.

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