Xiaomi made headlines today with the announcement of Mi Air Charge that is the latest wireless charging tech under development at the company. This is a proprietary technology that hasn’t been launched or ready at the companies warehouses but just in a concept stage and will be worked upon by the company in the near future. There are many questions regarding the tech but Xiaomi has answered just a few of them in the announcement and will make things clearer in the coming days.
As the name suggests, the Mi Air Charge is a technology that can charge smartphones through the air. We have seen wireless charging where without any charging cables smartphones and other accessories can be charged. But the limitations of this tech was that the phone had to be placed over the stand or wireless charger for charging to take place.
But by using this technology, Xiaomi claims that the device can be automatically charged once the phone is within a few meters of the charger. The device can be charged through air irrespective of the physical obstacles in between. The tech is also claimed to be able to charge multiple devices at the same time.
For the Mi Air Charge technology to work, the company has developed an in-house isolated charging pile that will also be having a phase control array that will consist of about 144 antennas transmitting millimeter-wide waves. These waves will be received by the smartphone to charge itself through beamforming. The charging pile also will be holding about five-phase interference antennas to understand the precise location of the smartphone.
For the charging to work, the phones will also need to be different. The smartphones will need to have an antenna array with a built-in beacon antenna and receiving antenna array. Only then can the phone receive the wireless charging beams.
Beacon antenna broadcasts position information with low power consumption. The receiving antenna array composed of 14 antennas converts the millimetre wave signal emitted by the charging pile into electric energy through the rectifier circuit, to turn the sci-fi charging experience into reality. Xiaomi in a Blog Post
As of now, the Mi Air Charge is said to deliver wireless charging through the air at 5W charging speeds for a single device within a radius of several meters. Although, the company also claims that multiple devices can be simultaneously charged at 5W speed using this technology.
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 Xiaomi
The company in the announcement video showed this technology working with smartphones. But Xiaomi also claims that in the near future, this technology can also be expected to work with other devices such as smartwatches, bracelets, and other wearables as well.
There will still be several questions surrounding this technology such as health risks, heating issues, compatibility for devices of other brands, and much more. Also, it isn’t clear if Xiaomi has applied for any regulatory approvals for the new wireless charging technology.
However, Xiaomi isn’t the first company to think and introduce this technology. Motorola is also said to be working on this technology for some time now. It is working on a wireless charger that can charge smartphones within a distance of one meter.
Lenovo also posted a video on Weibo to showcase this technology through a prototype. The charging system used by them Motorola One Hyper branding. There was no information regarding the specifications, pricing, and any other specific details about the product.
Another Chinese company that is working on similar technology is Oppo. The company released a teaser back in April last year showing the air wireless charging concept. The company has named this technology FreeVOOC.
The company used Oppo Reno Ace Infinity smartphone in the teaser while showing this technology. Although, the FreeVOOC was never released from Oppo and hasn’t been launched or discussed anytime post that.
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