Among recent technological advances, Qi wireless charging is arguably one of the most revolutionary in terms of its massive effect on the way tech products are able to fulfill their daily obligations. Although the technology isn’t entirely new—as we have seen electric toothbrushes that use inductive charging (short range magnetic electricity) for many years now—its potential as the “Next Big Thing” is still not as widely recognized as it should be. The truth is that Qi Wireless will be a key technology in the future, as it’s compact nature will help smartphones and wearables last longer. In this post, we introduce Qi Wireless technology, how it works, its current state of adoption, and what the future has in store for Qi technology.
How does it work?
Qi (pronounced “Chee”) wireless works on the basis of a wireless charger that uses inductive charging via a magnetic current, which transmits energy. It creates a magnetic field, which allows the device to be charged wirelessly when the charger and the gadget connect. Once the device is placed onto the flat surface of the charger, it will be charged via the invisible coil-like energy.
The only limitation is that the device must have the appropriate hardware and a chipset that supports wireless charging. In addition, companies using the wireless charger have not settled on a single standard platform for charging. Currently, there are three preferred standards in wireless charging: Qi, PMA (Power Matter Alliance), Powermat, and A4WP (Alliance for Wireless Power).
Current adoption of wireless charging
Among the industries that use wireless charging, the mobile technology department is one that has the most potential, especially since consumers are always looking for innovative solutions to solve poor battery life issues with their smartphones.
Some of today’s mobile manufacturers are maximizing Qi power in charging their latest handsets. An example of this is the Samsung and their Galaxy S6 smartphone. Since the release of their Galaxy Note 4, the company has been trying to incorporate the technology in their latest smartphones and phablets. Based on a featured post by O2 on the Galaxy S6, the handset comes with a wireless charger that promises faster charging and longer battery life. A 10-minute charge can provide up to four hours of ‘normal’ battery life, while it will only take 1.5 hours of charging to reach a full charge. Other mobile companies have also adopted Qi Wireless, such as the Nokia, LG, and several Motorola handsets.
Aside from several mobile companies, there are well-known international companies that are also showcasing wireless charging on many of their products, including Qi or Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), WiPower, PowerByProxi, and Mojo Mobility.
The future of Qi Charging
In the coming months and years, it is expected that more mobile companies will start using Qi Wireless charging. Along with mobile industries, car manufacturers and government agencies are also looking into using the technology for electric vehicles. Last year, the UK’s Highways Agency Commissions released a feasibility study that suggested that roads could be filled with dynamic wireless transfer devices to power electric cars, which is said to “support and accelerate the introduction of [electric vehicles] in the UK and elsewhere in the world.” Currently, they are still seeking engagement and support from government representatives, road user organizations, vehicle manufacturers, and local authorities regarding said project.
With the rise in the demand for more convenient, faster, and eco-friendly solutions to tech items, it is expected that more if not all tech companies will soon fully embrace Qi Wireless in their processes, products, and services. In fact, charging items at home has been introduced by IKEA on a large scale, as they are firmly behind wireless charging.
As developers continue to upgrade their technological devices to be smarter, it is only a matter of time before all tech companies adopt and introduce Qi wireless charging to their product lines. And it won’t be long before we live in a fully functioning wireless society.