The Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) published a market report on May 20, which read that the introduction of wireless charging technology will be expanded, mainly with mobile devices and electric vehicles. Among various kinds of next-generation charging methods, a wireless charging technique is in an advantageous position thanks to its efficiency, convenience, and far-reaching influence. Therefore, it is likely to lead the related markets.
Ryu Young-bok, a researcher at KISTI, explained, “Going beyond smartphones, wearable devices like smart watches and smart glasses are more diversified. With the era of the Internet of Things beginning in earnest, the necessity of wireless charging is stressed.” The researcher added, “With the formation of the wireless charging infrastructure market in the form of convergence products like cars, household appliances, and medical devices, people's everyday lives will change rapidly.”
Major market research firms are saying that the global wireless charging market will grow an average of 60 percent a year starting from 2015. As an illustration, IHS Technology predicts that the market estimated at US$216 million in 2013 will grow 40 times to reach US$8.5 billion (9.25 trillion won) in 2018. MarketsandMarkets also anticipates that the global wireless power transmission market will grow an average of 60.5 percent per year from 2014 to 2020, reaching US$17 billion (18.5 trillion won) in 2020. The local market is expected to be worth US$350 million (380 billion won) this year.
The two prominent wireless charging techniques are magnetic inductive charging and magnetic resonance methods. Each has pros and cons. Magnetic inductive charging makes it possible to receive more than 90 percent of transmitted power, but power can be transmitted to the distance of around 1 cm. Magnetic resonance, on the other hand, allows people to transmit power 2 to 3 m away from the location, but its efficiency stays at the 60 percent level.
Researcher Ryu remarked, “So far, the magnetic inductive charging method has led the market, stemming from its superiority in charging efficiency, stability, and standardization. However, due to charging distance, there is a certain limit to its applications. So, I think that the market will be reorganized in a way that the magnetic resonance method will prevail in the end.” He added, “It means that technological advances will be made from contact to non-contact types.”
The nation's wireless charging technology is widely acknowledged to be at the world-class level. This achievement is due to an organic research and development system from pre-emptive investment to cooperation between the industry and researchers by leading companies like Samsung Electro-Mechanics and LG Innotek. However, experts are pointing out that to lead the global market, it is necessary to first resolve problems like charging efficiency, price competitiveness, and harmful effects on the human body.
Ryu said, “Owing to intense global competition between companies and countries, it is very important for our country to take the initiative in technical standards,” adding, “If our own original technologies capable of creating high added value are created, I think that our country will solidify our position as a powerful nation in wireless charging technology.”