Go truly wireless with the Global Qi Wireless Power standard

September 3, 2010, By Thomas Antony

There have been a few wireless charging devices on the market lately, lie the Powermat and the Touchstone. But lack of an industry standard has been an obstacle for this genre of devices to grow. Now to end all that, the Wireless Power Consortium has introduced the Global Qi wireless power standard, and announced the first few products as well, supporting the new standard.

Qi empowers mobile phone manufacturers to integrate wireless power receivers, the semiconductor industry to incorporate the functionality into their chip sets, and infrastructure providers to build chargers in homes, offices, automobiles, hotels and furniture.

Companies signing up to the project include bigwigs like Nokia and RIM. Energizer will be ojne of the first to be ready with a device, with their Energizer Inductive Charger.

Energizer is also developing a wire-free charging sleeve for the iPhone 3G and 3GS since we don’t really expect Apple to enter the game any time soon, from what we have seen in the past. The sleeve will also be available for the older Blackberry Curve 8900.

Sanyo, ST-Ericsson and National Semiconductor are also working on Qi-based devices. This would include batteries that can be wirelessly charged by bringing near a compatible charging device. Prototypes will be exhibited at the Consortium meeting in Belgium.

The initial implementation is limited to handle only upto 5W, limiting its use to mostly MP3 players, phones and other low-power devices. But a new upcoming spec from WPC will include a higher power version, allowing for netbooks, tablets, and even powering of full-size netbooks or power tools like drills.

Other companies involved in the group include Olympus, Philips, Samsung and Texas Instruments, although they aren’t the only companies allowed to make Qi hardware.

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