Xiaomi teases over-the-air wireless charging for upcoming phones

Mainstream over-the-air charging might be closer than we think.

by Justin Choo

Being able to charge through wireless signals in the air is something that has been hinted at before (e.g. uBeam) years ago but nobody really talks about it – as it stands, regular inductive wireless charging is far from mature, and it’s a not even a widespread feature. It’s only available to top tier phones, and even so, most would prefer using wired fast charging to get their phones up to speed.

Xiaomi calls it Mi Air Charge Technology, and it is a 5W system. The base station uses a five phase-interference antennas (for locating the smartphone) and a phase control array of 144 antennas that transmit millimetre-wide waves to your smartphone. Your phone will have a “beacon antenna” to broadcast its location while a receiver array that consists of 14 antennas will convert the signals with a rectifier circuit into energy. Xiaomi touts that their method makes it possible to charge your devices even through physical objects and even charge multiple devices simultaneously.

Well, 5W sounds kind of weak in the face of 65W monsters like OnePlus’ Warp Charge and as we already mentioned, unless your tech can come close to conventional wired charging speeds, most users would prefer the quicker option. Then again, we need to start somewhere, Xiaomi claims that this is something their current technology can do – which I guess is the most important bullet point.

But, one area where this could be game-changing is if you could charge those pesty wearables – smartwatches and other small wearables – that you need to charge every day and you don’t need to charge them for long periods. And this is what Xiaomi is touting to happen “in the near future.” They’re also looking to extend charging to other home devices like speakers and desk lamps for a truly wireless home. Well, I guess except that one wire from the mains to the transmitter…

Sauce: Xiaomi via Engadget