Every year, the number of Qi Wireless Charging compatible devices increases and has grown to include much more than Smartphones and toothbrushes. Manufacturers of smart watches, headphones, tablets and more are building the Qi standard into their devices to make it easy for consumers to get a charge without having to connect a cable.
Currently, the scope of wireless charging is limited by the amount of power it can deliver – but that is changing quickly. Not long ago, Qi devices were capped at about 2.5 Watts, fast forward less than a decade later and we’re already up to 15W of power delivery.
This continual improvement is essential to bringing on devices like laptops (that need 30 to 50 watts to charge) and other higher powered technologies. The Wireless Power Consortium has made it clear their members are working to increase the power profile for the Qi standard to safely accommodate these higher power levels and allow consumers to use the same technology to charge both their laptops and mobile phones.
Consumers are using wireless more
In addition to the growing number of devices that are Qi wireless compatible, we’re seeing an increasing number of consumers preferring wireless charging over traditional wired chargers. AirCharge, one of the leading providers of Wireless Chargers to the hotel industry, reports that their chargers have an average monthly use of 1,000 interactions per wireless charger.
As the demand for wireless chargers grows, members of the WPC are looking for more ways to integrate the technology into our everyday lives. Recently, the WPC announced a new wireless charging standard for Kitchen appliances – called Ki. Essentially this works the same way as Qi. Wireless charging coils will be built into kitchen countertops and will be able to power common household appliances. This not only reduces clutter associated with excessive cords in the kitchen, but also eliminates the dangers of power surges and other potential issues inherent with outlets/plugs.
This technology has the potential to be ground-breaking, but it’s currently in the very early stage of its development. The biggest issue isn’t making power travel over the air, that has actually existed for awhile – the main challenge is doing it a way that allows phones and other devices to efficiently and effectively absorb the power and actually charge. Right now the majority of the power that travels through the air isn’t absorbed by the device that needs to be charged. This has lead to health concerns around radioactivity and other related issues.
Wireless charging adoption continues to march forward and has grown to support a wide range of applications including consumer electronics, kitchen appliances and more.
As more consumers become aware of the tangible benefits associated with wireless charging, the number of companies building with the technology will only increase. This should result in significant improvements in charging speeds and other related features.
While it’s unclear what kind of impact far-field wireless charging will have in the short to mid-term, it’s undoubtedly clear that we are heading towards a wireless world.
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