What is Qi wireless charging?

Qi, which is pronounced like “chee” and is taken from the Chinese word for “natural energy,” was created by the Wireless Power Consortium in 2009.

The consortium itself formed in 2008 as electronics and mobile device manufacturers like Sony, Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC partnered to create a standard that would utilize electromagnetic induction principles to power devices without the need for wires.

Qi wireless charging is a global standard to which many smartphones adhere. It allows you to wirelessly charge a compatible device’s battery using induction transfer, simply by placing it on top of a wireless pad – and with no need for cables or adaptors (other than to the wireless charger itself).

How does it work?

The Qi wireless charging standard enables inductive electrical power transfer over a maximum distance of up to 1.6 inches. A Qi Receiver, which is a mobile device compatible with the Qi standard, is placed on a Qi Sender charging station, which transmits power to the receiving device.
Mobile smartphones and tablets in a Qi wireless system are charged via resonant inductive coupling, or loosely coupled charging, in which multiple devices can be charged at once without the need to place the device(s) in a specific spot and position. This is in contrast to tightly coupled charging, wherein a device needs to be precisely positioned on a wireless charging pad before it can be charged.

Where can I use Qi wireless charging?

As we’ve seen with Wi-Fi hotspots, eventually Qi will become a common feature in hotels, airports, train stations and more, allowing you to top up your device wherever you go. You can also buy your own Qi wireless charger for home use.

Can I use any Qi charger?

Yes. If a smartphone supports Qi wireless charging then any Qi wireless charger will be compatible with it – not just that which is sold as an official accessory for the phone. This means you can often save some money on a third-party brand charger.

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