TECHNOLOGY

How Xiaomi will ”air charge” your phone from several meters away

Soon enough, you can charge your phone without taking it out of your pocket.
By ERIK SEDIN
February 04, 2021

Long-distance wireless charging, or air charging, is not a new phenomenon in itself. We’ve seen smaller startups and kick-starter projects try to crack the code of the technology — but just like other new and exciting tech-breakthroughs, creating a one-off concept device is a whole different story than mass-producing a ready-to-buy product.

For air charging, the entrance of smartphone giant Xiaomi’s Mi Air Charge is a welcomed player. The Chinese device-maker is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and can naturally accelerate the technology with its substantial funding, great scale and engineering resources.

Xiaomi Mi Air Charge

Xiaomi says that the charging station’s 144 antennae will pinpoint receptive devices, and transmit millimetre-wide waves (the same radio wave technology as in 5G) directly to it through beamforming. Xiami says that the wireless charging is powered with 5 watts and that it will be able to charge multiple devices at the same time. The thought of a completely wireless living room sounds exciting, but don’t hold your breath.

Xiaomi has not shared an official release date, nor an estimated price. Also, in order for your smartphone, smartwatch, or speaker to support air charging, they would need to be equipped with the right receiver antennae. If Xiaomi’s air charging will work with brands outside there ecosystem is probably wishful thinking, at least in the near future. But the mere entrance of such a big game player for this technology is good news, the likes of Apple and Samsung will not want to fall behind.

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