WPC updates Qi standard, increases inductive charging distance to 40mm

It seems that Power Matt just got a bit more, er, powerful. The Wireless Power Consortium announced today that it's improved the Qi inductive-charging standard to "include longer range magnetic resonance wireless charging." Effectively, this means charging stations that are up to spec will be able to transmit up to 5 watts of power from distances of 40mm (up from 5mm, previously) to Qi-enabled devices. The WPC says it's ideal for pushing power through the likes tables and counter tops, and that it currently has 12 types of compatible transmitters ready for action. All in all, it certainly seems like a solid step for finally getting rid of all that cable clutter at your workstation -- especially if it'll rid users of those less-than-pretty looking charging bases. Maybe a last-minute add-on to your Uppleva, IKEA?

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Wireless Power Consortium Extends Qi Standard to Include Longer Range Magnetic Resonance Wireless Charging


TAIPEI, Taiwan, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wireless Power Consortium today announced that the Qi open wireless charging standard is capable of providing full support and compatibility for longer-distance magnetic resonance technologies.

Qi is the global standard for wireless power and charging. Devices are charged just by placing them on, or near, any Qi-enabled surface. Any Qi-enabled device works with any Qi charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer, making charging simple and convenient. Qi is supported by a quickly expanding list of over 100 industry-leading companies and is increasingly integrated into mobile phones, accessories, and public spaces in the US, Japan, China, and Europe.

The Qi standard is a fully open and flexible platform, and as it evolves, the WPC regularly approves new transmitter designs proposed by its members. The latest addition is a transmitter design that uses magnetic resonance technology. It increases the distance devices up to 5 Watts can be charged, from 5mm to 40mm, while remaining fully Qi compatible. This transmission distance is suitable for charging through most tables and counter tops.

"The Qi standard continues to quickly grow and evolve as more transmitters and technologies become part of the specification," said WPC Chairman Menno Treffers. "Qi is backed by over 100 companies and the standard's flexibility allows them to offer a wide range of products with compelling features and price points. Ultimately, the consumer wins with a broad product ecosystem that's all seamlessly compatible."

Wireless charging stations such as those that can be built into furniture, tabletops, cars, or found in charging pads, typically use magnetic induction or magnetic resonance transmitters to send power to the portable devices they're charging. Having the flexibility to choose from multiple transmitter designs allows companies to offer a wide range of Qi product types in consumer electronics, home appliances, furniture, automotive and other markets. These products can then be further differentiated by innovative design, components, materials, functionality, and value. Any Qi-enabled charger works with any Qi-enabled device, no matter what transmitter type.

Twelve new transmitter designs are approved in the specification, including those offering more freedom in device placement, magnetic and non-magnetic device alignment, and differing power options, such as USB. Many other designs are under review, with plans for additional spatial freedom and distances, increased power levels and more options to charge multiple devices at one time.

Qi has seen rapid adoption and momentum with deep industry support, significant new product launches, and global supply chain growth. The WPC recently displayed more than 80 new Qi products and prototypes at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Find more information about Qi and the Wireless Power Consortium at: