Wireless inductive charging seems to be a kind of Holy Grail lately -- a lot of companies are on the quest to bring it to all smartphone and tablet devices. I recently reviewed a battery case that charges an iPhone wirelessly. It's actually pretty nice to walk into the house or office, and put my iPhone down on a charging pad to top off the battery. There are no cables involved and no hassle. Of course, there is a power cable to the charging pad, but that doesn't have to be constantly plugged and unplugged.
iQi (pronounced i-chee) has an interesting new product called the iQi Mobile Receiver that provides wireless charging using your own soft case. It doesn't work with rigid polycarbonate iPhone cases.
- Wireless Receiver: Qi compatible
- Fits most soft iPhone cases for iPhone 5, 5c and 5s
- Requires USB 2.0 or later
- Charger Pads
- Cable is USB/micro USB
- Micro USB input: DC 5V, 500-2100 mA
- No alignment or magnets needed
- Power Transmission Distance: 8mm
The iQi Mobile Receiver (US$35.11) is a thin card only 0.5 mm thick attached to a flexible ribbon cable that plugs into your Lightning port. The card portion wraps around to the back of the phone, and then you slide your phone into its existing soft case to hide the receiver. You'll also need a Qi charging pad to complete the charging solution. A pad roughly in the shape of your phone is $42.00, and a smaller hockey puck-shaped charger runs $45.00. Those charging pads are plugged into a USB port on an AC adapter or computer. When you set your receiver-equipped phone down on the charging pad, the charging starts. The iQi Mobile Receiver was the result of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that surpassed its goal in just 10 days.
The iQi Mobile Receiver is simple to install, although you have to take care to not over-flex the thin ribbon cable. An adhesive sticker is provided to attach the receiver card to the back of your iPhone 5 so that the card doesn't flop around inside your case. With the card installed and the phone placed Into a soft case, you will barely notice any increase in thickness.
The charging pads emit a green light when connected to power. When your phone is in the proper charging position, that light turns blue. If the charging pad beeps several times, it is telling you the position of the phone needs to be adjusted.