Xiaomi is at the forefront of several cutting edge technologies like in-display cameras, surround screens, bezel-less designs, huge megapixel cameras, transparent TVs, high-speed chargers, etc. Add truly wireless charging to this list.
The company has announced Mi Air Charge, which realizes charging multiple devices “within a radius of several meters” over the air. They would be topped up simultaneously at 5 watts each. And Xiaomi assures the charging efficiency won’t be deterred by the in-between physical hindrances.
At present, the tech is said to work with smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness bands. But in the future, the brand envisions the support to be extended to its other ecosystem products like lamps and speakers.
So, a better alternative to the current Qi contact charging tech and a truly wireless living room, eh? Mhm… Sounds cool!
Well, let’s get down the weeds and see —
Xiaomi Mi Air Charge: How it works
Xiaomi is using a self-developed charging pile with five-phase interference antennas to pinpoint the location of the smartphone. Once that’s done, a phase control array composed of 144 antennas (also present in the charging station) beamform millimeter-wide waves to the phone.
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Now for this to work, the phone should also be equipped with an array of miniaturized antennas. This comprises a beacon antenna for broadcasting position to the hub and a receiving antenna array that “converts the millimeter-wave signal emitted by the charging pile into electric energy through the rectifier circuit”.
As already mentioned, this is claimed to work within several meters, although no definite distance info is given. We also don’t know how reliable the transmission would be. There will be other concerns surrounding health and the cost of the product. The company hasn’t revealed any such details for now.
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Let’s see how soon Xiaomi manages to make it a commercial reality as there are several such initiatives already in the market like Oppo’s FreeVOOC Air, Energous Watt-up, The MotherBox, and more.