Dell today announced that it is working with WiTricity to enable its Latitude 7285 — a 12-in. tablet with a detachable keyboard dock — to be the industry’s first 2-in-1 laptop to incorporate wireless charging.
Dell plans to begin selling the laptop in June; it will have an embedded wireless receiving coil based on magnetic resonance technology from WiTricity, which will comply with the AirFuel wireless charging specification.
“Innovative IT teams see a future with no wires, including wireless power, as a key step toward improvements in mobility and convenience,” Neil Hand, Dell’s vice president of Product Strategy and Innovation, said in a statement. “WiTricity’s wireless charging technology makes it possible to integrate magnetic resonance in today’s thin, iconic computing products.”
Dell will sell a WiTricity charging pad for the Latitude 7285, which will be completely cordless. It will be the first Dell product that can work with the company’s own WiGig wireless dock system.
“Dell continues their drive to be first to market with relevant new technology. This collaboration between Dell and WiTricity is making the wireless workplace a reality for customers around the globe,” said Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity. “The Dell Latitude 7285 not only enables a more productive working environment, but accelerates establishment of a broader magnetic resonance-powered wireless charging ecosystem for a wide range of devices.”
Dell plans to demonstrated the Latitude 7285 at the 2017 CES Show on Friday. The 2-in-1 will be powered by Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors and have a Sharp IGZO display with up to 3K resolution. Dell plans to offer several different keyboard dock options.
“The laptop is key for the workplace of the future, enabling a wire-free environment that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also creates a more efficient and mobile office,” WiTricity said in a statement.
In 2015, Intel announced it was also working on wireless charging technology for laptops and had said in 2014 it was working with WiTricity on the technology. Intel said it was creating a system that could transfer up to 20 watts of power — about four times the amount smartphone wireless chargers put out.
Intel’s wireless charging, like Dell’s, was supposed to be based on a magnetic resonance specifications that emerged from a merger between two former competing standards groups, the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA); those groups combined to form the AirFuel Alliance, which has more than 195 members.
The Qi alliance remains the other competitive standards group. Intel was supposed to announce its wireless charging technology sometime in 2016, but cancelled its work on the technology last spring.
Even so, research firm IHS has predicted wireless charging technology will generate $8.5 billion in revenue by 2018. That’s 40 times the $216 million it generated 2013.