Among the many quite a few robots, TVs, EVs and this hair printer at CES was a quiet announcement concerning the next-generation of wireless charging for phones and different rechargeable battery units. Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”) is the follow-up to Qi wi-fi charging that is discovered on telephones just like the iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 7.
The following model of Qi guarantees to be extra environment friendly partially as a result of magnets that assist place units in an excellent alignment on charging pads. If that sounds acquainted that is as a result of Apple’s MagSafe charging, which rolled out with the iPhone 12 in 2020, is actually that. In reality Apple, which is without doubt one of the over 350 firms that make up the Wi-fi Energy Consortium, helped design the Magnetic Energy Profile that is part of Qi2.
Whereas the Magnetic Energy Profile is not precisely the identical as MagSafe, it may result in Qi2 being adopted on extra units, together with AR or VR headsets. It may additionally result in sooner charging speeds. At present, Qi wi-fi charging caps out at 15W, which additionally occurs to be the max speed for Apple’s MagSafe charging on iPhones.
“Qi2’s excellent alignment improves power effectivity by decreasing the power loss that may occur when the cellphone or the charger shouldn’t be aligned,” Wi-fi Energy Consortium govt director Paul Struhsaker mentioned in a press release. “Simply as essential, Qi2 will drastically cut back the landfill waste related to wired charger alternative as a result of plugs breaking and the stress positioned on cords from every day connecting and disconnecting.”
One other benefit of Qi2 is the potential for equipment. Check out the variety of MagSafe and magnetic accessories currently made for the iPhone. There’s all the things from circumstances and charging stands to tripod mounts and wallets. Android telephones that assist Qi2 may benefit from an identical vary of equipment.
Contemplating that Android telephones are available all sizes and shapes, Qi2 and its Magnetic Energy Profile may very well be an equalizer that makes some equipment interchangeable between completely different telephones and even completely different units. Qi2 gives a stage of ubiquity much like what USB-C connectors present, with out the confusion attributable to completely different USB-C cable sorts that every one look the identical. It is laborious to inform the distinction between a USB-C cable that helps Thunderbolt 3 and one which helps USB 4.
Qi2’s Magnetic Energy Profile shouldn’t be the identical as MagSafe, which makes use of additionally magnets however organized in a distinct place. So that you could not connect a MagSafe charger to a cellphone with Qi2. I ought to acknowledge that some companies make magnetic cases for Android phones that permit them to work with MagSafe.
MagSafe additionally accommodates a microprocessor, which Qi2’s Magnetic Energy Profile lacks, that enables an iPhone to know what it is linked to. For instance, for those who take away Apple’s MagSafe pockets out of your iPhone, it’ll mark the placement the place it was final hooked up and may even ship you a notification that it’s separated from the cellphone. I think about Android cellphone makers may add their very own microprocessor to Qi2 for related performance.
With the EU forcing Apple to change future iPhone models from Lightning wired charging to USB-C, Qi2 may additionally present Apple a roadmap toward a port-less iPhone which has been rumored for a number of years. And as Qi2 is a typical, it may assist Apple keep away from any potential motion from the EU round wi-fi charging.
On the entire, Qi2 holds a number of promise. And whereas it isn’t clear if Apple will substitute MagSafe with Qi2’s Magnetic Energy Profile, it does show that even rival firms can agree on a typical that advantages us all. Now do that for textual content messaging.