Xiaomi introduced Mi Air Charge technology this Friday morning. According to the company “remote charging technology” can charge multiple devices simultaneously and will recharge a smartphone that’s being used, “while walking around or even when something’s in the way.”
Inductive wireless charging that works via pads and coils is still not available everywhere or on every device, but XDA points out that Xiaomi is teasing a leap to the next step: remote wireless charging. Touchless “true” wireless charging could energize devices from several meters away, and Xiaomi is touting its approach, dubbed Mi Air Charge Technology.
We’ve seen remote wireless charging equipment before, including the Energous WattUp approach we gave a Best of CES award in 2015. However they haven’t come to market yet, and while Xiaomi isn’t talking about any specifics as far as a release date or compatible hardware, showing off a demo and talking about the 17 patents it has is more than we’ve seen from other phone manufacturers.
Mi Air Charge Technology is a 5W charging system — think of the tiny chargers Apple used to include with iPhones, or slower Wireless Qi charging — that uses 144 antennas in the base station sending millimeter-wide waves to your phone, which receives them on a 14-antenna array of its own.
Xiaomi is claiming its tech is “not science fiction,” that will eventually charge multiple devices at once, pass through physical objects, and send power to all kinds of small electronics around your room, from smartwatches to speakers.
The company outlines how the technology works in a blog post.
The transmitter looks quite large, as large as perhaps a living room side-table next to a couch. The transmitter can provide a 5W charge wirelessly to a smartphone.
This kind of charging has nothing to do with the Qi standard. The smartphones need to be outfitted with a “miniaturized antenna array with built-in ‘beacon antenna’ and ‘receiving antenna array’.” The smartphone has 14 antennas to convert a millimeter-wave signal that’s emitted by the charging pile. The signal is converted into electric energy through a rectifier circuit.
In its current state, Xiaomi’s remote charging technology can charge multiple devices with a 5W current within a radius of “several meters”. Xiaomi claims that physical objects don’t reduce the charging efficiency, but this must have some caveats.
Xiaomi teases that its Mi Air Charge tech would be eventually compatible with smartwatches, fitness bands, and other wearables.
Soon our living room devices, including speakers, desk lamps, and other small smart home products, will all be built upon a wireless power supply design, completely free of wires, making our living rooms truly wireless.
No release date is offered for the Mi Air Charge system and it’s not known if such technology would ever make it to the consumer market. One thing we know for sure – it’s going to be expensive whenever it does arrive. It’s interesting to see innovations like this and we’re excited for the future of wireless charging technology.
Xiaomi is an internet company with smartphones and smart hardware connected by an Internet of Things (IoT) platform at its core.
With an equal emphasis on innovation and quality, Xiaomi continuously pursues high-quality user experience and operational efficiency. The company relentlessly builds amazing products with honest prices to let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through innovative technology.
Xiaomi is currently the world’s third-largest smartphone brand and has established the world’s leading consumer platform with 289.5 million smart devices connected to its platform, excluding smartphones and laptops.
This is a revolutionary innovation of wireless charging.
This is also a bold attempt to turn the whole house wireless.
It’s not science fiction, it’s technology.
This is Xiaomi’s self-developed remote charging technology.
We're excited to bring you the remote charging technology – Mi Air Charge Technology! Charge multiple devices simultaneously while you're gaming, walking around or even when something's in the way, no strings attached. Another giant leap forward in wireless charging technology! pic.twitter.com/wEoB10wOQ2
— Xiaomi (@Xiaomi) January 29, 2021