We had placed all our bets on this
The end of Rezence is near
PMA is going to die
Qi will survive, but will basically just level off
ChargEdge will soon deliver on all that the others promised!
All this at a time when the three standards were still (supposedly) battling for supremacy.
Broadcom and Mediatek were going all out to create "trimodal" chips, to support Qi, PMA and Rezence standards—with huge investments. Semtech Corporation was even "demonstrating" exactly such a "finished product". Adding to the sound and fury, the PMA and Rezence standards, however different, were artificially conjoined, under the "AirFuel Alliance" banner. The war seemed intense. And ongoing. To the world at large. T
We knew otherwise! We knew exactly how the dust would settle. Back in 2016! How come?
Witricity, with an "astute" MIT (associate) professor of physics (not electronics) behind it, was pushing Rezence confidently, with the full-throated support of huge companies like Intel. Even claiming right up till CES2017, along with Power-over-Air dream merchants, Energous, that they "were (already) shipping, (so hey) deal with it".
Well, they weren't (shipping)! And would never. Their friendly journalists didn't know. Or maybe, didn't care to. But we did: safety/regulatory bodies, like the FCC WOULD have the last word!
IHS Markit, consulted widely and relied upon by VCs worldwide, had made a bunch of wishful predictions (click here). IMS Research (now part of IHS) had emphatically stated that the "loosely coupled" standard, i.e. Rezence (pushed by A4WP/Qualcomm/Witricity) would be the outright market leader by 2018, without a doubt!
Well, they were off the mark. Not even close. Rezence died in 2017. Ask Witricity.
Only we knew the market projections were at best, leaps of faith from famous analysts, if not poignant displays of technical ignorance. We were right then, and in every single prediction since.
Steve Jobs quote #2 (click) : “I think Henry Ford once said, 'If I'd ask customers what they wanted, they would've told me a faster horse.' People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
Well, Steve Jobs probably shook a little in his grave when he realized that 4 days BEFORE his super-secretive Apple told the world which wireless power technology was in iPhone8/X, we had predicted even that clearly: DEFINITELY not Rezence, NOT ENERGOUS (the favorites to win, at the time, believe it or not)...Only Qi --- we declared... and maybe just a bit over "5W".... mmm, maybe 7.5W?" Click this link if you don't believe us.
Back to Rezence, with the "help" of unsuspecting Dell, Witricity even released a "product" based on Rezence in mid-2017, the Dell Latitude 7285, which actually served to mark the formal end of Rezence, followed by layoffs at Witricity by end of 2017. Ssssh: no coincidence that the new CEO of Witricity at the time, had just come over from Dell! They somehow implicitly believed that technological innovation was dependent, or guaranteed, by social connections! They must have discovered otherwise by now.
It was also becoming painfully obvious that corporate stalwarts typically haven't a clue when it came to the uncharted waters of complex new technologies, in particular those combining power and resonance, both extremely tricky areas. So, in 2013, we had the sorry spectacle of Gary Matos, a strategic planner for the PC client group at Intel, saying: "Rezence operates at 6.78 MHz instead of 100 to 300 kHz....the higher the frequency, the smaller the coils and components.“ That was back in 2013. That benumbing "strategic analysis" likely spurred Intel to invest 10's of millions in Witricity. Now totally wasted obviously. Surprisingly, it seems it took Intel 3 more years to even observe the obvious under their very noses: that Rezence coils were gigantic. Their receiver coils were at least twice the size of Qi receiver coils, and their transmitter coils, were easily over twenty times larger than Qi transmitter coils. In mid-2016, Intel abandoned Rezence without any warning or convincing explanation. Perhaps they had signed NDAs with Witricity. More likely, they just didn't want to look .... hmm...stupid?
Similarly, PMA, though preceding Qi historically, also bowed out by end of 2017. Yet till the very last moment, AT&T, along with General Motors, Google, Starbucks, Duracell, Delta Airlines etc, were going all out supporting (only) PMA.
We knew both Rezence and PMA too were doomed all along. And more important: exactly why!
The fact that iPhone 8/X was released in late 2017 with only Qi in it (no PMA, no Rezence, no Energous), was a complete surprise to the entire world.
As mentioned, to all except to us! We had predicted Qi would be the only survivor! We knew it all well before even Apple had figured it out (the hard way)!
Because through all of 2016, right until mid-2017, they had mobilized huge teams, not only within Apple, but also within their very hopeful prospective semiconductor vendors such as IDT (now Renesas), Dialog, Nordic Semi, On-Semi, TI, Cirrus Logic, and ST Micro, spending millions of dollars across the globe, basically chasing every "possible figment of a medieval Nikola Tesla-esque imagination"—including Rezence and Power over Air (yes, the latter through Energous, we are 100% sure). Lots of money, but sadly, no intelligence. No deeper technical acumen...just "pride".
We could have told Apple long ago that only Qi would/could survive, and why—had they been listening. Instead they were out to lure the world into the stone age, of what should have been a promising new technology: wireless power.
In fact, years later, we continued to make unerring if not rankling (for them) predictions. For example, only we had predicted the end of AirPower too. Right until the last moment, just to helpfully put them wise and save them from public embarrassment, we had even prepared a clear technical video explaining exactly why AirPower would fail (also why Rezence had failed). It was uploaded on March 28, 2019, borne out by the time stamp, exactly a day before Apple announced the same formally—to a world left wondering: Could mighty Apple go that wrong?
Yet, we had known that too, years ago. That they were on the wrong path: obstinately so.
Making a mistake in research and development is natural. Not accepting it, isn't. And worse, finally, arriving at the doorstep of magnets instead of magnetics? Astonishing! See our press release here.
Steve Jobs quote #3 (click): “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” (Mind telling that to Apple, Steve?)
Our uncanny predictions were all based, not on reading tea leaves or staring at crystal balls, but on our knowledge of Wireless Power Transfer. Unique in the industry perhaps. And in fact, well before the prophetic 2016 interview below, we had helpfully already started explaining the technical reasons behind their wholly incorrect a posteriori assumption: "inductive power transfer systems have inherently bad user experience". Not true at all, we said! It was just bad design experience! Or rather: rookie designer inexperience! We were even pointing helpfully to a fundamental error which they were all making, including Qi, PMA and Rezence. Yes, an error persisting today too, in the (similarly doomed) wireless EV charging attempts abounding. Ssssh: all are still horribly flawed for much the same lingering reason(s), and thus doomed to eventual oblivion too, just like Rezence/PMA before them. At best on a path perpetuating inherent mediocrity, like Qi before them. See our 2019 IEEE seminar for more details.
We have always tended to agree with true giants: money does not buy innovation. Nor does a network of social connections stretching to the highest corporate levels. Only good, honest and FEARLESS, engineers innovate.
And unfortunately, there is almost nothing to gain, but everything to lose, for any engineer in a typical corporate environment, to stick his neck out and try to innovate, or even sponsor innovation outside to benefit his company. The risk to reward ratio is just not suitable for that. It is called "job security."Th
Some have even gone on to forget where exactly they got their current "Jobs" from. From Jobs of course! In contrast, we never forget our roots. And are not scared to innovate... based on facts, not feel-good wish-lists.
Steve Jobs quote #8 (click): "Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D.” (Mind telling that to Apple, Steve?)
We also agree that nature (in the form of Darwin) dictates to us unerringly, that "history" will repeat itself if we don't learn from our past mistakes—and adapt.
Seems we alone did!
See the slides of our very well-attended 2014 TechTalk at Integrated Device Technology (IDT, now Renesas), which was followed shortly by a public IEEE (ISSCC) seminar in 2015. It clearly fell on deaf ears. As hundreds of millions were, and still are, relentlessly wasted around the world, by companies sadly only competing against their ignorance, by their sheer arrogance.
Armchair critics, we certainly weren't! So hush! In a cramped lab in San Jose, California, packed with the brightest software experts probably existing in Silicon Valley (our secret team), right up till midnight every day for months on end including weekends, we were navigating the only perilous (and by now completely PROPRIETARY) path possible, through a minefield of performance, cost and regulatory constraints.
The path called ChargEdge! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
a) Soon came into the picture our brilliant firmware perfecter-cum-angel-investor from Germany, a well-known specialist for display and touch technologies, master of the STM32 series microcontrollers that we use, who has also made significant contributions to the definition and development of the ACT I3 display industry standard.
b) We are well-funded—entirely by very supportive friends, families, well-wishers, and outright believers. No typical corporate investors with their wannabes who "just don't get it".
Steve Jobs quote #8 (click): "It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” (Mind telling that to Apple, Steve?)
c) Our stunning IP being very well-protected all this while, by a premier patent law form, White & Case. Note: we also fixed the "fundamental error" mentioned above, in effect closing their recovery path for good!