Last Friday, Xiaomi announced the Mi Air Charge, a new wireless charging tech as its proprietary technology. As its name suggests, Mi Air Charge is designed to let users remotely charge their electronic devices including smartphones without any cables, pads, or wireless charging stands. This is unlike existing wireless charging technologies like the ones based on the widely adopted Qi standard in which the power transfers wirelessly using inductive charging over a distance of up to four centimetres.
According to the company’s blog post, the Mi Air Charge can charge multiple devices “within a radius of several metres” — and even with physical obstacles. Despite the announcement, the tech will not become generally available in the near future, and remains in a concept phase. The company also claims that the new technology would also work with smart watches, bracelets, and other wearables in the near future.
To enable the new Mi Air Charge wireless charging experience, Xiaomi has developed an in-house isolated charging pile with a phase control array that consists of 144 antennas transmitting millimetre-wide waves. These waves go directly to the smartphone that requires charging through beamforming. The charging pile also carries five phase interference antennas to understand the location of the smartphone.
A Xiaomi spokesperson clarified on Twitter that the Mi Air Charge is only a concept for now. It is currently a tech demo and is not coming to any consumer products this year. It is currently unclear whether Xiaomi has applied for any regulatory approvals for the new wireless charging technology. The company has also not provided any details on whether its development has been tested for health risks.
It's a tech demo, we won't be rolling out this tech to consumer products this year
— Agatha Tang (@aggasaurus) January 29, 2021
As Xiaomi is using a proprietary technology infrastructure, the smartphones that can work with Mi Air Charge will require an antenna array with a built-in beacon antenna and receiving antenna array.
The initial model of Mi Air Charge technology is said to be capable of delivering 5W remote charging for a single device within a radius of several metres. However, the company claims that multiple devices can also be simultaneously charged with each of them supporting 5W using the same technology.
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