XIAOMI has just offered a glimpse on the future of how we’ll be powering up our devices in the future.
In a social media post, the Chinese technology company announced ‘Mi Air Charge’ — a truly wireless charging technology that will juice up your mobile phone and other gadgets from a charging base a few meters away.
“Charge multiple devices simultaneously while you're gaming, walking around or even when something's in the way, no strings attached,” it said.
On its company blog, Xiaomi explained a few key details on how this technology works. The charging station itself, called a “self-developed isolated charging pile” (now that’s a name that rolls off the tongue), is about the size of a small refrigerator. It has five phase interference antennas that zero in on the location of your device. An array of 144 antennas then zaps “millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.”
To convert these signals into usable power, your smartphone must be equipped with a miniaturized antenna array. This converts the millimeter wave signal into electric energy through a rectifier circuit.
Xiaomi says that, so far, this setup is capable of 5-watt remote charging of a single device over the distance of “several meters.” (It did not specify the exact distance.) Five watts is the standard output of a typical charger, though wired “fast charge” units can pump out up to 12 watts.
With this bold announcement, Xiaomi — which produces the popular Mi and RedMi line of phones, but also manufactures an assortment of other products like TVs, laptops, tablets, wearables, and more — hopes to stake its claim on a technology that’s long been under development.
At present, commercial wireless charging still involves either a charging pad or pod that your device has to come in contact with. ‘Air charging’ is a tantalizing look at a truly wireless solution.
Take note that Xiaomi has not announced any specific products, prices, or release date for its 'Air Charge' tech.