CES 2012
CES 2012 runs from January 9-13

Wireless charging has been with us for a few years now, but has never really take off due to the technology not being built into smartphones, tablets and the like.

But this may soon change in 2012, with Motorola releasing a teasing commercial in the run-up to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, showing a conventional charger alone and seemingly crying, followed by the message "Stay Unplugged. Find out more at CES".

Tech site The Register reports that there will be 75 wireless charging devices on display at CES - which runs from January 9-13 - and that Oregon Scientific has announced a bedside alarm clock that has a wireless charging pad on top.

The drawback of this - as is the case with almost all wireless charging solutions - is that a case is needed for your phone to connect with the pad, adding cost and bulk.

The Register believes that, following a Forbes interview and the Motorola teaser, the Wireless Power Consortium will be working with Motorola to create a wireless charging solution that will not require additional phone cases or other accessories.

The teaser from Motorola comes at a strange time for the company, having just released the new RAZR smartphone; we would expect to see wireless charging on the company's flagship model, but this might not be the case.

Palm offered a wireless charging unit for the ill-fated Pre smartphone when it was launched back in 2009. Called the Touchstone Charger and offered as an optional accessory, the charger required a new back cover to be fitted to the phone, and since then no other manufacturer has developed wireless charging.

For the most part, wireless (or conductive) charging solves a problem that doesn't really exist. We'd imagine that smartphone users don't mind plugging their handset into the mains each night, otherwise the technology would have already taken off.

But, if The Register's claim of 75 new wireless charging devices is to be believed, then maybe 2012 will be the year the technology is finally developed by more manufacturers.