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Updated Qi wireless charging means your phones won't have to be directly touching the charger

The new Qi v1.2 specification will enable wireless charging through even greater spans than before. The current Qi standard is capable of blasting power wirelessly through up to 7mm of space, but the new standard amps that up to 45mm (1.77 inches). This will make it much easier to embed Qi chargers inside of things (like desks, tables, cars, blocks of cheese, etc).

Qi 1.2 chargers and receivers will naturally be backwards compatible with Qi 1.1 devices, though like USB and Thunderbolt they'll fall back to the lesser of the parts involved. Even so, a Qi 1.1 receiver (i.e. the wireless charging-compatible smartphones you can buy today) will be able to participate in power transfer range of up to 30mm.

In the most surprising application, the Wireless Power Consortium says that Qi 1.2 is capable of blasting 2000 watts of resonant energy through the air for powering kitchen appliances — just imagine plopping down your blender on a pad instead of having to plug it in to make smoothies. The 1.2 standard also allows for a single inverter to power multiple coils, which should make for much more affordable multi-device chargers.

Of course, it could be a while before the first Qi 1.2 standard chargers and receivers come to the world. But when they do, you can rest assured that we'll be strapping chargers underneath every flat surface we can find to get our charge on.

Source: Wireless Power Consortium [pdf]

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

75 Comments
  • Awesome :P
  • I only wonder the lasting effects this radiant energy in the airwaves will have on my wiener...
  • What wiener?
  • LMFAO
  • Ignorance is bliss❓
  • Doesn't matter to me. Stupid AT&T won't be getting it. Pffft.
  • Lol. Your comment reminded me of the, " Nobody pays me in gum" commercials. : (
  • But nobody does pay me in gum...
  • Isnt' MS signed up with PMA just like ATT? That may mean all future Lumia devices go the PMA route instead of Qi... but it also means that we may get ungimped ATT devices in the future.
  • MS is signed up for both, PMA and qi.
  • MS signs up with every tech standard board.
  • I have korek wireless hhhhhhhhh
  • Nice :) im proud of microsoft right now day after day it is evolving gradually... ;)
  • Qi
  • +Qi
  • Oh, I Qi.
  • Ahh another disgruntled american
  • Sure hope that AT&T changes their mind on Qi charging.  Have it on my 920, love it, and have no plans to upgrade if AT&T doesn't allow it again.  This new standard would be so great to have though, I might be moving to Big Red Verizon to get this.
  • Yep. AT&T minus Qi = me going to Verizon.
  • Agreed... the loss of Qi is just horrible, and completely without reason (as far as consumer benefit). However, I am waiting and hoping for a 1030... whoever gets that will get my business... if at&t gets it and cripples Qi, I will be looking for an international version. Sigh.
  • Pentaband if att removes qi.
  • I'm sorry but... Blocks of Qise. :3
  • Blocks of cheese -_- seriously..
  • we got to engergize those blocks of cheese :3
  • Engergize.... O.o seriously..
  • yeah didnt you get the memo .....engergize is the new energize !!! get with with times !!! cheese charigng cheese :O cheese saving hop hop!!!!
  • Haha :D
  • +822.
  • Love the picture.  It makes the cyan look like almost a "classic" color now. And the advancements sound nice.  I'm currently using PMA because of my AT&T 1520, but technology moving forward is always a plus!
  • Loved the picture as well. I had a blue L800 and I loved, but got robbed years ago. It seems this blue L920 is glossy and not matte tho...
  • Finally! My dream of embedding a qi charging pad into a block of cheese will come true! This truly does open up modification projects for night stands even more. I just worry about the amount of heat produced. Good for keeping cheese in a liquid state but bad for wood furniture.
  • QI is gonna crush PMA with this :)
  • If only it weren't so expensive
  • As much as I hate to say it, I think only Apple will be able to truly get Qi going in the US. Even though both Windows Phone and Android manufacturers have sided with Qi, the carriers like AT&T don't care. Only Apple has the power to force it whether the carriers like it or not. And of course the general public will adopt it like crazy, even if it's under the name iPower. The flipside to this is that if Apple were to adopt PMA, then I think Qi is pretty much done for.
  • +920 >_
  • We have yet to see them bother my guess is they might just have their own proprietary extension to the standard
  • That is Apple's M.O., create their own standard, patent it, license it.  Make everyone who wants to build accessories for their products pay royalties to do so.
  • Cool! I love wireless qi charging!
  • My senior design project involves a concept for a desk that is capable of wirelessly powering a lamp and a smartphone placed on its surface. It looks like Qi are interested in similar applications and I'm excited to see where this technology goes!
  • Qi Surface :D
  • At this point I would be happy with better reliability. My Qi charging is hit or miss. It will work reliably for weeks or months, but then won't work for days or weeks. No amount amount of unplugging the plate or reseating the shell seems to do anything. And I'm using the expensive Vue plate that has some sort of correcting mechanism built on.
  • 2000 watts? Holy hell! Just imagine if we could get super-capacitors able to hold more power. You could drop your smartphone on that and charge it from almost dead to 100% in a few seconds. Now if they can find a way to get a major increase in range, imagine being able to have one or two in a room and charge all your devices while they're still in your pocket. Or being able to power your TV. If you had something like the wireless system DirecTV is advertising you could literally have a TV with no wires of any sort.
  • Charging your Phone that fast would probably cause the battery to overheat and explode, so hold your horses ;)
  • True, but he was talking about "super capacitors" which would be used in place of rechargable batteries.  Therefore, the phone wouldn't have batteries to fry.  The super capacitor technology still isn't economically feasible though so your "hold your horses" statement would still apply.
  • Thye farther you get from the source, the power required to transmit is increased exponentially and most of that power wasted along with it. Until someone discovers a different way of handling power besides electricity and magnetic fields, wireless power is obstructed by physics.
  • Probably take even longer to charge. Installing this under a table top would be awesome. Just lay your phone on the table
  • Can anyone tell me how the wireless chargers on the market will react with an otter box case?
  • I think OtterBox says that they will work.
  • I hope now the coils inside will be lighter and thinner, because I never use Wireless Charging, and because of built in Qi on the 920, it is bulky...
  • The 920 is heavy an bulky because of poor design. The QI receivers are actually thin and light if you look inside a charging case or cover.
    They look pretty much alike NFC tags or anti-theft stickers.
  • I'm confused. Why would the carrier have anything to say about it? Isn't it part of the hardware itself? Why should they even care?
  • Because the carrier, in this case AT&T, has joined the standards group of the competing technology (PMA) and because they feel the need to use their position in the industry to lock out the competing technology.  Why would a company like AT&T care which standard wins?  Who knows, but they suck for interfering in this way.  I have no issue with them supporting the development of a standard, but they should allow the standards to win or lose on their own merrits. 
  • So excited!!! I love wireless charging ;)
  • I wish the Qi vs PMA war would just end. I don't really care who wins
  • holy crap is this a WPC article that doesn't end in a question? YOU sir, deserve a medal!
  • As much as I prefer embedded wireless charging in the phone.. Wireless charging shells will give you the choice to go Qi or Pma
  • I'd rather have it built in an not need a case if I choose.
  • built in all the way, if i had to put my phone in a case for that i would simply use the old friend usb, also pma can go fu** itself, let us adopt ONE standar then we'll ask for competency after we got it working right
  • Att may be face palming now. One can hope they change there ways anyhow. :|
  • 2000 watts?!  Enough to rattle your fillings.
  • That's the Master Qief.
  • cancer here i come
  • Lol to get our charge on
  • Blocks of cheese ftw
  • I just recently put my charging pad in my bedside table and it is awesome! Can't wait for this! On an unrelated note, I also built USB charging ports into my couch for under $50 and has been very useful... Charging furniture is definitely the way of the future!
  • Who owns this tech? Microsoft? Nokia?
  • So the future is Cheese Wireless Charging? How awesome would that be.  
  • Cool! Hope they sell kits so I can embed in kitchen counters by under mounting the coil!
  • YES! Now give me a frigging recharge enabled coffee table.
  • Perfect.  Now I can just hover my phone above the charger!
  • Does the qi-wireless work on an unlocked 1520 rm-(940) ???
  • Came here for the Qi. Stayed for the Cheese.
  • Can you imagine having a wireless mouse with this in it and the bass being the mousepad.  You'd never need to plug in your mouse or replace the batteries. 
  • Still waiting for Qi to be wirelessly distributed and phones stay charged as soon as u leave the house or enter somewhere that uses it ahhh the future
  • Oh, well, time for a new phone, anyone interested in a slightly used Nokia Icon ? Nevermind, no phones have the new QI yet...