Has Wireless Charging Finally Arrived?

New technologies take some time to transition from concept to commonplace, but it seems wireless power is finally making its way into homes (and cars). Here are a few wireless power solutions on the wireless radar, and we'll let you decide if it's time for you to make the jump to cord-free power. There are a couple leading standards for wireless power - yeah it's kind of like Blu-ray and HD-DVD again. The first to charge through into the mainstream as a real consumer product was the PowerMat -- a wireless solution requiring a special case or accessory attachment to allow inductive charge through the power base station. The Duracell Powermat is an attractive option here, with an iPhone 5 compatible case coming soon, that also includes a portable battery that you can take on the go (for charging away from the main power hub). Qi wireless power is a new (and incompatible with Powermat) wireless platform released last year and it is quickly becoming the leading standard. Qi has partnered with several manufacturer's to embed their technology into many smartphones (some you may already own) so that no new accessories are required. The Google Nexus 4 and Nokia Lumia 920 are a couple notable smartphones with Qi built-in, but there are also accessory cases to convert other devices like an iPhone to work on Qi-compatible charging stations. I particularly like the JBL solution (100W-MD) for Nokia devices that combines wireless power and NFC to let you charge your smartphone as you play music wirelessly. New cars (like the 2013 Toyota Avalon) will also begin offering Qi wireless charging stations near the console for convenient tangle-free power ups. I believe that the big breakthrough for wireless will be when public facilities will begin outfitting their establishments with wireless power compatible tables and surfaces. McDonald's is actually already testing this in Europe. (Images: 1. CPmoebel 2. Duracell Powermat 3. Tricky Geek 4. Kelley Blue Book)