Technology

Qi2 standard will bring efficiency and interoperability to wireless charging

Forward-looking: “Apple does it better,” at least when it comes to wireless charging for the latest iPhone models. So much that the Wireless Power Consortium is working with Cupertino to bring the new Qi2 wireless standard to a much wider market of smartphones and accessories.

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) is working on a new standard for wireless charging. Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”) is designed to be efficient and interoperable, bringing unity to the industry and promoting market growth. This time, Apple seems to be willing to play a more collaborative role rather than going the proprietary way with MagSafe.

Set to arrive in 2023, Qi2 is indeed a new wireless charging standard built upon the aforementioned MagSafe technology. Apple provided the basis for the new standard, WPC says, working with other members of the consortium to developed a new Magnetic Power Profile that lies at the core of Qi2.

The Magnetic Power Profile will ensure that smartphones or other rechargeable battery-powered devices are perfectly aligned with the charging station, WPC explained, thus “providing improved energy efficiency and faster charging.”

According to Paul Struhsaker, executive director of the Wireless Power Consortium, consumers and retailers were confused about what devices were Qi Certified and those that claimed to work with Qi but are not Qi Certified. “This confusion can lead to a poor user experience and even safety issues,” Struhsaker says, so Qi2 will have to provide consumers and retailers the assurance that their devices are “safe, efficient, and interoperable with other brands.”

The Qi2 standard is set to replace its predecessor, Qi, in a market that’s rapidly expanding with one billion devices (both transmitters and receivers) expected to be sold worldwide by the end of 2023. The new Qi2 accessories will bring wireless charging to mobile devices that wouldn’t work with the current flat surface-to-flat surface setup.

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There are no official specs yet but according to a WPC spokesperson, Qi2 will offer an initial charging capability of 15W – the same as MagSafe chargers and double the Qi-compatible chargers’ power (7.5W). Higher power profiles and recharging capabilities should come to the standard at a later date.

Struhsaker further remarks how Qi2 is perfectly aligned with modern needs for energy efficiency and sustainability, as the new standard reduces the energy loss that can happen when the phone and the charger are not aligned. Furthermore, Qi2 will “greatly reduce the landfill waste associated with wired charger replacement due to plugs breaking and the stress placed on cords from daily connecting and disconnecting.”

The first Qi2-certified smartphones and chargers are expected to go on sale by the 2023 holiday season.

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