Exploring the future of Wireless charging now: Qi at MWC

Ready for something cool? One of our favourite booths here at MWC has been the Qi wireless charging booth, it’s small in comparison to some companies but it’s showing off a few devices that sort of define the term ‘gadget lust’. With Nokia announcing two new Lumia devices on Monday that both have wireless charging capability, the vision of “wireless charging everywhere” is becoming ever closer.

You’ll find a full titillating gallery after the break, and we’re also going to call out a few of the devices specifically that piqued our interest. That first image up top though you might recognise, it’s the Tylt Vu which we covered just over a month ago when it was up for pre-order. Coming in several striking colours (although we only saw this yellow one), this charger would not look out of place in Nokia’s accessory line up.

tylt view wireless charger

tylt view wireless charger

The next device to show off, which we really loved by the way, is the Qi ‘PowerKiss’. This compact 'O' shaped peripheral is a Qi receiver that plugs in to any micro USB device, bringing wireless charging capability to it. Now you may ask what benefit you receive if you’re carrying around an extra item in your pocket over just bringing a charging cable. Well the PowerKiss is clearly targeted as an interim device to aid the future we’re all hoping for where we see wireless power points in local establishments on tables or other surfaces. Plus, it’s compact, serves the purpose perfectly and we’re told should retail for around 15 euros.

Qi powerkiss wireless charging micro usb adapter

Following on from that we saw some evolution upon in-car wireless charging from Continental, who were demonstrating an app/charger combo (although the app only worked on Android for now). The essential concept is using secure, SIM-based NFC to unlock your vehicle, step in to it to dock your device, and then press that ignition button, all whilst your device is charging. The app can then be used for some simple GPS functionality although this was clearly still in the early stages of development.

qi continental concept

We also saw plenty of other wireless charging designs, some built in to conventional alarm clocks, others bringing flare in the form of wooden designs. Oh and of course Qi were keen to demonstrate Nokia’s commitment to the charging standard with several of their accessories on display. Wireless charging is the future folks, and now more than ever, we can see that future materialising.

qi wooden charger

qi landscape charger

qi blue style charger

qi clock charger

Nokia qi accessories

  • That alarm clock i want!
  • @ryansstuff: Seconded. However, I still use both wired and wireless charging. I still prefer wired however.
  • I have that alarm clock its ni e bit has a really tiny speaker, and doesn't even have a radio tuner so all you get is a generic beep that is pretty quiet. Plus the LEDs are super bright and when you put the phone on to charge it turns on another really bright LED so if its next to you bed at eye level it shoots right into your eyes. All that to say it is a great charger and clock, it just didn't really replace my alarm clock
  • Yeah, the alarm clock has been out for a while.  I've got one myself, and stupidly, the buttons to actually set the alarm are on the bottom.
    The atomic clock part doesn't work, I don't get a good enough signal for that in my apartment, but I can set it manually.
    And then also, I don't mind the blue LEDs that much, but what's really obnoxious is if you're not looking DIRECTLY at the thing, the clock display is impossible to see.
    The temperature display is pretty neat though.
  • the alarm one really make sense to me
  • Is it unfeasible to expect qi charging from a foot or three away in the near future?
  • yes - would also just be necessary if you want to keep your phone throwing around for more than 20 hours - else you just put it on the table and its charging
  • Love qi chargers!  Need to get another less expensive one...
  • Misspelled booth in the opening
  • Whoops, tired mind and Word not catching it. Thanks
  • Do you have any more information on that wooden block charger?
  • We believe it was just a concept design to show off putting a Qi coil in a table etc, but I will enquire more should we happen to go past them again
  • Enquire, eh?  I do envy the access you guys get, but not the hours you have to put in.  Get some rest, haha.  {EDIT....and NM...apparently that is just the English-English version of the American-English version of inquire.  Stupid English language]
  • LMAO!
  • The charger is embedded in the wood block, for more info you can check the webpage www.qinside.biz
  • Since I've got a charging plate from Nokia, I've never used wired charging for my lumia920 again. Just loving it!!!
  • I second that
  • Yea Man, Me Too, gonna get another standup one for my office. Don't understand the naysayers because my Nokia wireless charger seems to charge my 920 just about as fast as my outlet charger. Love not having to fiddle with a chord, now if MS would find their brain and just bring back Zune for wireless sync.... :-\
  • The reviews for that Alarm clock are horrible. I hope another company makes one as it makes so much sense for me. 
  • Qi wireless charging + NFC in every restaurant is what I want in the future. Imagine walking into a restaurant, you're shown to your table, plonk your phone down to charge it but NFC launches an app for the restaurant where you can place your order. How cool would that be?
  • Oh yes I would love this. Of course the app would have to be HTML5 based or else you'll end up with platform fragmentation.
  • And it will automatically check in for you :)
  • Even just the menu would be good to hope for
  • the Landscape stand-charger would be perfect in combination with the Night Stand app. If only it came in black ;)
  • I really dig the qi flow, and would like them to b ubiquitous. The vertical qi stand is practical as one can use it while IE browse or video calls during a charge.
  • Is the Powerkiss purely a device to allow non qi enabled phones to wirelessly charge?
  • Yes, but not just phones, think about it, ANY device that charges via USB (micro USB in this case) can use that PowerKiss. It's an interim solution whilst every other device gets Qi, but it's a pretty elegant one
  • My Sister (I bought her a Lumia 920) was raving last night about her wireless charging, and chief complaint was that her in-car Bluetooth didn't have wireless charging so she had to have multiple cords sitting around still. Something like this would help to fix that.
  • Basically yes, but it is also available with the old Apple 20-pin connector for iDevices, not just micro USB.  They even come with the old 2mm Nokia charger.  I'm sure they'll come out with the new apple plug as well.
    The company I work for builds the power kiss coil into conference tables, and people can also then order the power kiss rings from us as well.
    Quite good for non-enabled devices.
  • That's quite impressive, drop your phone on the table and it starts charging.
  • You can buy the alarm clock here (though a web search might get you it cheaper elsewhere)
  • Excited to see the PowerKiss.  Will likely be buying that as soon as it hits the market.
  • Oh wait.  These are already available?!
  • Any news on the iLuv MobiRock?
  • My ancient BlackBerry had a wireless charging ability with a nice kick.  There were a couple of contacts on the back of the BlackBerry that would align with an OEM charging stand.  I would just drop it in and it would immediately start charging.
    What I REALLY like about it, though, was that it held the BlackBerry vertical, and the BlackBerry could be set up to change over to clock mode and even switch to a Bedside Mode, which would allow you to automatically silence customized alerts, such as emails or texts, etc., between certain hours each day, while allowing phone calls to come through overnight.  It made the PERFECT alarm clock and, since I was taking my phone when I traveled anyway, I never had to rely on wake up calls or unfamiliar alarm clocks. 
    I want WP8 to do this and to have a vertical Qi charger.  I can't be the only one!
  • The Nexus 4 charger works great with my Lumia 920 in Portrait and Landscape.
  • I have a wireless charger in the living room and another in the bedroom. I only use wired when I'm away from home. I'm looking forward to a wireless charger for my car.
  • Exact same set up here.  It seems like such a non-issue, but actually makes a huge difference.
  • Any sign of a Qi charger coupled with a generic car mount? That to me is the killer combination - just drop you phone into the mount, no wires to connect, power from Qi and bluetooth for audio/handsfree. Really great when you want to use your phone for GPS too.
  • I believe Nokia showed one at MWC. Set to release in May I think I read?
  • The litte ring-thing would be awesome for people who want to DIY.  Like... a business card holder actually makes for a really good landscape stand... with the wireless ring, I could figure out a way to turn a business card holder into a wireless charging stand.
  • I lack wireless charger inside my laptop, just placing my phone over it while working.......until then I will buy 20+ USB cables and put them everywhere (and its much much cheaper)
  • Wow, that Tylt Vu really gobbles up the desk space.... Why the ginormous back end???
  • My take on it too. It should be verticle. And why the lip so deep? No phone is that thick. Is this for charging tablets too?
  • I already have one of the Fatboy's, but I really want that alarm clock!
  • I like the alarm clock as well but after reading Vheissu's comment near the top, I will definitely pass.
  • Check out this company in the US, they are the exclisive distributors for this PowerKiss think in the America's - www.vududistribution.com
    I think this is definately where the technology is going.  Eventually when this becomes a standard, I will look forward to not having to travel with a charger...or at least a wired one.
  • Thanks for not including the model numbers or manufacturers of the wireless chargers you posted pics for - now we just have to "guess" if we're interested in one or the other.