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New NFC standard could make wireless charging possible on more devices

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Wireless charging could be set for the next big change that may make it more commonplace, as the NFC Forum has announced an update for the short-range wireless technology that adds a form of wireless charging to the standard. With these new standards, future NFC devices all offer wireless charging functionality, though in a way that is more limited and slower than the current Qi standard that sot manufacturers use.

The new NFC standard is far slower than Qi charging, offering up to 1W speeds compared to base Qi speeds of 5W. (Qi fast charging can reach speeds of 10W or more on standard hardware.) And it’ll require new hardware — you won’t be able to just get a firmware update and suddenly be able to have NFC-based wireless charging on your current device.

So, if it will still require new hardware and operate slower, then why bother with the technology at all? Well, unlike the Qi standard which requires physically large coils between devices that are dedicated for the purposes of charging, NFC will allow the use of a single antenna for both communications and charging of devices, making it easier for smaller devices like headphones, fitness trackers or smartwatches to make use of wireless charging technology.

It’s unlikely we will see the Qi technology going anywhere thanks to its faster speed, but these will probably be reserved for phones or tablets with smaller devices adopting this new NFC standard and still being able to make use of wireless charging and hopefully start reducing those pesky charging cables that end up getting left around the house for good.

Last Updated: May 7, 2020

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