29 Jan 2021: Xiaomi claims to wirelessly charge multiple devices over several meters
Xiaomi has announced the "Mi Air Charge Technology," which makes up a wireless charging system that's touted to charge various gadgets "within a radius of several meters."
Xiaomi's blog post also states that the system can charge multiple devices at a rate of 5W per device. The technology is said to work not only with smartphones, but also with smartwatches and other wearables.
Wireless ecosystem: Cable and dock-free charging for everything in the living room
The Air Charge system is designed to free up smartphones and associated wearables by doing away with cables and docks altogether.
The wireless charging system will also incorporate other devices such as speakers, desk lamps, and associated smart home products for a completely wireless living room experience.
Xiaomi manufactures a wide array of consumer electronics, in addition to smartphones, through its extensive OEM partnerships.
Millimeter waves: Utilizes technique similar to wireless router beamforming for wireless charging
The 5W wireless charging system works by using five phase interference antennae in the base unit to "accurately" locate the device to be charged.
Wireless charging itself is done through a phase control array comprising 144 antennae bombarding millimeter waves directly at the device.
The process is somewhat similar to beamforming used in modern 5GHz capable wireless routers, except Xiaomi uses it for charging.
All pervading: Xiaomi claims wireless charging works efficiently through obstacles
The wireless charging tech will evidently be restricted to Xiaomi devices because it won't work without the presence of a proprietary "miniaturized antenna array" in the device drawing power.
This array relays positional information to the base station, while also converting the incoming millimeter waves into electrical energy that provides charging.
Xiaomi claims that the wireless charging system works efficiently even through physical obstacles.
Science fiction: Don't get your hopes up until Xiaomi shares a roadmap
Xiaomi has confirmed to The Verge that no associated commercial products will materialize this year. The company hasn't given a release timeframe either.
The Mi Air Charge system clearly seems to be in its nascent stages, with no clear production roadmap, if at all.
Without a demonstrable product and viable release strategy, Xiaomi's wireless charging technology is firmly in the science fiction territory.
Also see: OPPO Ace 2, with 40W wireless charging support, goes official
Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, Mi AIoT Router launched
OnePlus 8 Pro's specifications leaked, 50W fast-charging on the cards
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