Smartphone specialist Xiaomi has unveiled an exciting new way to charge your mobile devices called Air Charge. As the name suggests, it's the next evolution of wireless charging that can boost your battery through the air – almost like receiving a WiFi signal.
Conventional charging methods, whether wired or wireless, rely on some kind of physical contact between the device and charging unit, whether it's in the form of a cable or a charging plate. Xiaomi's new Mi Air Charge technology, however, does not require any physical contact.
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"The true wireless charging has been achieved by the company using a 'self isolated charging pile' that has 'five phase interference antennas built in' which will transmit millimeter wide waves to the smartphone," writes The Indian Express.
Not only can these antennas accurately detect the location of the device, they can charge devices "within a radius of several meters" – including through physical obstacles, and multiple devices can be charged simultaneously at 5W.
"On the receiving end, the smartphones need to be equipped with Xiaomi’s miniaturized antenna array that will have built-in 'beacon antenna' and 'receiving antenna array'. The beacon antenna will broadcast the information about the smartphone’s position whereas the receiving antenna will convert 'the millimeter wave signal emitted by the charging pile into electric energy through the rectifier circuit'."
The net result could be a new charging mechanism reminiscent of WiFi routers, enabling you to move around your home and continue to use your device without it needing to be connected to anything. That said, Air Charge may not be capable of offering fast charging feature – which will likely still require a cabled connection.
Xiaomi hasn't revealed when the tech will be ready to roll out, but it's incredibly exciting. You never know, we may start to see battery charging hotspots in cities, airports and shopping centers; essentially we could have WiFi hotspots that not only offer connectivity, but also keep your battery charged!