The idea of wireless charging has been around for a while now, with most smartphones supporting some form of the technology. The name is a bit of a misnomer because even though no wires are involved, the proximity required to make it work is so short that you might as well just use a regular cable.
Xiaomi has announced a new “Mi Air Charge Technology” wireless system that takes that radius from a few centimeters to several meters, while also allowing several devices to be charged at the same time even when physical objects block the line of sight.
It’s a claim that is quite bold and almost hard to believe, but the company revealed some details about how its magic works as part of its drive to create truly wireless living spaces, where every device in a house can be permanently charged as it is used:
The core technology of Xiaomi’s remote charging lies in space positioning and energy transmission. Xiaomi’s self-developed isolated charging pile has five phase interference antennas built-in, which can accurately detect the location of the smartphone. A phase control array composed of 144 antennas transmits millimetre-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.
On the smartphone side, Xiaomi has also developed a miniaturized antenna array with built-in “beacon antenna” and “receiving antenna array”. 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.
It’s certainly an exciting prospect to have true wireless charging in homes and public spaces, which would mean that our connected world will always remain powered up. I personally can’t wait for this technology to expand and become more commonplace, even though I know that one of the company’s biggest hurdles is in getting technology like this implemented on a large-scale.
It’s also not just about reducing the cost of the technology but convincing people that it doesn’t cause a new pandemic. Because, after the way people have responded to 5G conspiracy theories, they are going to really latch onto something that actually transmits power, with brand new mental conspiracy theories.
Last Updated: February 2, 2021