The progress of wireless charging for devices

Nicole Cozma
 from  Chicago
| April 6, 2011


Anyone interested in technology can tell you just how fast it moves. Over the course of just a few months, that shiny new piece of tech that you just bought can be replaced or otherwise made obsolete by even newer and shinier things. Similarly, something that sounded like a great idea one month can actually develop into a staple piece of technology a short time later. Qi (remember, “chee”) technology is one such piece of tech. 

It was only a few months ago at CES 2010 that the Wireless Power Consortium made a presentation on Qi and a small number of devices--with rumors of more to come--were put on display. At this time, the technology was available but not quite popular among a wide-range of consumers yet. Since then, new inductive charging mats from Energizer, along with the HTC Thunderbolt and the LG Revolution handsets, have all incorporated the Qi technology standard. One thing to note: these phones aren't 100% Qi enabled right out of the box— while the charging circuitry is built into the phone, the Qi bits have been implemented into alternative back plates that need to be purchased separately. Look for these back plates in the next few months.

Naturally, since Energizer has been in the game for a while, they're already working on newer products that incoporate Qi technology. Their inductive mat released last year was a two-zone charger, meaning two sections are available for charging two devices at the same time. As a drawback, the size of this mat was similar to a tablet, reducing the overall portability of the device. A single-zone charging mat was revealed at CTIA, an answer for all of your portable portable charging needs. Also announced was a new sleeve for the iPhone 4. This doubles as a Qi  charging solution and a durable case for your iPhone.

Qi product manufacturer Fulton Innovation (their unique eCoupled charging dish seen above) has hinted that other mobile phone manufacturers have shown interest in Qi technology. They are expected to announce their answers to the wireless charging craze sometime soon. Fulton also says to expect to see full Qi support to begin popping up in 4G phones later this year.