Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the new global standard for wireless charging stations, set by the Wireless Power Consortium. The goal is life unplugged, without all those wires, chargers and power cords. Any device with a Qi-enabled accessory or with Qi built directly into it can charge on any Qi inductive charging pad. You’ll be hard pressed to find a Qi-enabled device today, so if you want to get in on the action, expect to purchase a Qi-enabled accessory to make your devices compatible.
This is a burgeoning industry with a variety of players looking to get in on the action:
Energizer recently unveiled a new inductive charger for smartphones. All a user needs to do is place their phone in a Qi-enabled sleeve and onto the charger, in this case a mat, and the device will begin charging. Its coverage is limited to the iPhone and Blackberry Curve 8900 for the time being. Look for this to be widely available in November. Pricing starts at $89.
The furniture manufacturer, KI, is one such company committed to making it easy for consumers to access wireless charging systems. They plan to build Qi technology into their furniture, removing the need to chords and cables. Charging a device with KI will be as simple as placing you Qi-enabled device on their furniture and letting the inductive technology do the rest of the work.
KI expects its first customers to be educational institutions, but I can’t imagine it will be long before larger organizations jump on the bandwagon.