Earlier today, Chinese electronics company Xiaomi revealed its new wireless charging technology, ‘Mi Air Charge’. We’ve seen wireless charging before, but nothing quite as cool as this.
In a short video and blog post, Xiaomi explained that Mi Air Charge is capable of remotely charging several electronic devices at the same time. The Mi Air Charge transmitter, the linchpin to the whole thing, provides charge within a radius of a few meters, and is about the size of a couch side table. Perfect for your living room. Physical obstacles won’t disrupt or weaken the charge either, apparently.
“It’s not science fiction, it’s technology,” says Xiaomi. The Mi Air Charge certainly looks like something out of Portal though, doesn’t it?
So how does it work?
Well, first the transmitter finds your phone (it only works with smartphones for now), which will have to be kitted out with a miniature “beacon antenna” to broadcast its location. Then, a “phase control array” made up 144 antennas uses “beamforming” to transmit a “millimetre-wide” wave signal directly to the phone. The phone, which alongside the beacon antenna needs a “receiving array”, converts the wave signal into electrical energy using a rectifier circuit, which is just a fancy way of saying: “It charges.”
“Future living rooms will be wireless”, Xiaomi says. The company intends on extending the compatibility of the charging station to other electronic devices, like smartwatches and other wearable electronics. The company also foresees that other “living room devices”, like lamps and speakers, will be wirelessly powered in the future.
Xiaomi has named neither a release date nor a price tag for the Mi Air Charge, but we reckon it’s safe to say that it won’t be cheap. Still, it’s an awesome concept, and we’re excited to see how it develops.