Global Qi wireless power standard released, Energizer and Sanyo announce products

It's no good buying an eCoupled inductive charger if it won't work with your Powermat, or your Touchstone. Non-standard chargers suck, so we're glad to see that the Global Qi wireless power standard has been released, and the first products have been announced. A number of companies, Nokia and RIM to name but a few, have signed on their support, with Energizer stepping up first with the Energizer Inductive Charger. When it releases this fall it will initially work with charging sleeves for the iPhone 3G/S and BlackBerry Curve 8900, but we presume others will be coming. More promising is Sanyo, which is designing battery packs "without making any change in designs and aspects of existing mobile devices." In other words: they'll look and act like a normal battery pack, but also be able to be charged wirelessly. Beware, ubiquitous micro-USB charger: your days are numbered.

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Global Qi Standard Powers Up Wireless Charging

First Qi products are certified in 100 million units annual growth market

HONG KONG, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wireless Power Consortium (the Consortium) today launched the Qi 1.0 standard which enables consumer electronic brands and device manufacturers to bring interoperable wireless inductive charging devices to market. The Consortium also announced today the first products certified with Qi.

Qi ensures interoperability between Qi devices from different companies to power and charge on any Qi charging station. The Consortium views interoperability as a key growth driver for the wireless charging market. Qi interoperability reduces the risk of market fragmentation with incompatible products, scaling up the market for wireless battery charging from 100,000 units to 100,000,000 units annually.

By bringing simplicity and convenience to users, Qi triggers a projected 70-fold expansion of the wireless charging market by 2014.* 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.

"Qi can now be integrated into products. All ingredients for growing the market are now on the table," said Menno Treffers, Chairman of the Wireless Power Consortium. "It took us only 18 months to develop the Qi standard, and less than one month to see the first products certified. Qi is now the industry's choice for wireless power."

The more than 55 members of the Wireless Power Consortium include industry leaders in mobile phones, consumer electronics, batteries, semiconductors, components and wireless power technology. As part of its roadmap, the Consortium now starts work on a wireless power standard for medium power devices including netbooks, laptops, tablet computers, and power tools.

"Wireless charging has great potential to make charging easier for consumers," said Petri Vuori, Director, Mobile Solutions R&D, Nokia. "For full user benefit, a standard ensuring cross-compatibility between different manufacturers' products is required. Qi low power standard specification release 1.0 is a significant milestone into this direction. Nokia continues to support open standards approach by supporting development of Qi."

"We believe that a universal standard is the future of charging and unquestionably beneficial to both consumers and manufacturers. By leading the way with one of the first Qi products – the Energizer® Inductive Charger - we are committed to bringing consumers this next generation technology that makes charging devices easier by eliminating cords and clutter," said Jim Olsen, VP of Marketing, Energizer. "Our new charger is a natural extension of an innovative product portfolio that brings more freedom for people to live and work using power that's reliable and convenient. It is launching this fall, along with a Qi sleeve for the iPhone 3GS/3G and a Qi door for the Blackberry® Curve™ 8900, so consumers can enjoy the convenience of Qi now, while looking forward to when Qi is built right into their devices."

"Sanyo has developed battery packs with wireless power system without making any change in designs and aspects of existing mobile devices, and developed transmitters equipped with user-friendly free-positioning function which enables mobile devices to be charged no matter where they are placed on the pad," said Shoichi Toya, general manager of charging system division, SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.

"The release of the Qi standard is an important step to foster and to accelerate the market adoption of this new, exciting feature which will further simplify the usage of mobile devices in our daily life," said Joel Huloux, Head of Standards & Industry Alliances at ST-Ericsson. "ST-Ericsson supports Qi in its ongoing product and platform development and plans to launch first devices to the market next year."

"Leggett & Platt is the infrastructure provider of the primary, or charging side, of the wireless power system to the OEM's of the office, residential, hospitality, commercial vehicles and automotive markets," said LeRoy Johnson, Senior Director of Emerging Technologies for Leggett & Platt. "The release of the Qi 1.0 standard brings the use of consumer electronics to a new level of convenience and real time use to these markets. We have product already tooled and ready for launch after our Qi compliance testing is completed."

"With the standardization of the transmit/receive function for wireless charging systems, National Semiconductor and our partner, Sanyo Electric, can move forward and develop customized, Qi compliant battery power designs for contactless handset charging systems," said Keith Sanders, Director for National Semiconductor's Mobile Devices Power Business Unit. "This first step undertaken by the Wireless Power Consortium provides systems manufacturers and OEMs with a specification that will ensure compatibility between all Qi certified products, ensuring consumer confidence in the interoperability of their devices."

"Duracell talks to consumers to learn more about their needs, and they've told us that the convenience and efficiency of wireless power transfer has the potential to simplify their lives," said Dan McCarthy, Duracell Brand Franchise Leader. "Duracell is dedicated to helping people live life without limits, and being able to charge key devices wirelessly is a freedom consumers want to enjoy. Working with the members of the Wireless Power Consortium is one way Duracell is collaborating with the industry to build wireless solutions that will help shape this new category."

"Qi breaks through to that magical 'SIMPLE' in powering and charging electronics worldwide," said Camille Tang, President, ConvenientPower. "ConvenientPower's first wave of Qi products will be in the market September 2010 and is a milestone in ConvenientPower's drive to create a new global ecosystem of products and services through innovative technology leadership."

"Fulton Innovation has been working with wireless power for more than a decade through our eCoupled technology and we're proud to have played a significant role in helping develop version 1.0 of the Qi standard," said Dave Baarman, Director Advanced Technologies for Fulton Innovation. "Full interoperability between low-power device manufacturers and infrastructure OEMs worldwide is now a reality. We look forward to continuing our work with fellow WPC members in developing the next generation of universal wireless power solutions."

"As an interoperable standard, Qi will have profound impact on the user experience of wireless power," said Patrick Heyer, Manager of TI's Charge Management Product Line. "This will enable the consumers to conveniently charge or power their electronic devices wherever they go, without having to worry about various power cords and adaptors. Texas Instruments is committed to support the standard by offering leading edge solutions to the OEMs."

"Global industry standards facilitate interoperability and often create mass market appeal for new products. USB, GSM, DVB and WiFi are examples of such successful universal standards. As the standard for wireless charging, Qi stimulates the growth of affordable products in the same way and is the most easy to use and versatile solution for our customers," said Eddy Odijk, Vice President Standardization at Philips.

More information about the Consortium and Qi is available at

About Qi and the Wireless Power Consortium

Established 17 December 2008, the Wireless Power Consortium's mission is to promote Qi as the global standard for powering rechargeable electronic products. The 55+ members of the Wireless Power Consortium include industry leaders in mobile phones, consumer electronics, batteries, semiconductors, components and wireless power technology.

* Wireless Charging Market Set to Expand by Factor of Nearly 70 by 2014 by Tina Teng, iSuppli Corp, June 30, 2010