The latest addition to the international Qi wireless power and charging standard is a transmitter design that uses magnetic resonance technology that increases the distance devices powered to as much as 5 watts can be charged while remaining fully Qi-compatible. This transmission distance is suitable for charging through most tables and countertops.
According to the Wireless Power Consortium, Qi is the global standard for wireless power and charging. Devices can be charged by placing them on or near any Qi-enabled surface. Any Qi-enabled device works with any Qi charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer; more than 100 companies are supporting Qi, which continues to be integrated into mobile phones, accessories and public spaces in the United States, Japan, China and Europe.
Twelve new transmitter designs are approved in the specification, including those offering magnetic and non-magnetic device alignment and differing power options like USB. Other designs under review, including those with additional spatial freedom and distances, increased power levels and multiple-device charging.
"The Qi standard continues to quickly grow and evolve as more transmitters and technologies become part of the specification," says WPC Chairman Menno Treffers. "Qi is backed by over 100 companies, and the standard’s flexibility allows them to offer a wide range of products with compelling features and price points. Ultimately, the consumer wins with a broad product ecosystem that’s all seamlessly compatible."
Wireless charging stations, including those that can be built into furniture, tabletops and cars or are found in charging pads, typically use magnetic induction or magnetic resonance transmitters to send power to the portable devices they’re charging, the group says, adding, “Having the flexibility to choose from multiple transmitter designs allows companies to offer a wide range of Qi product types in consumer electronics, home appliances, furniture, automotive and other markets. These products can then be further differentiated by innovative design, components, materials, functionality and value.”