Düsseldorf The charging of electronic devices is becoming an increasing problem. Not only smartphones often have to be charged at least once a day. More and more portable devices constantly demand electricity: from smart watches to headphones to tablets or laptops.
The situation could relax in the future. The Chinese technology group Xiaomi presented a technology on Friday with which several devices can be charged with up to five watts each over a distance of a few meters. Obstacles did not affect the charging process, it said from Xiaomi.
The company markets the concept under the name “Mi Air Charge Technology”. Xiaomi presented the technology in a short product video. A white, approximately 50 centimeter high box as a charger in the middle of the room supplied a smartphone with power while the user moved through the room. “Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve seen this year?” Asked Xiaomi’s International Business President Shou Zi Chew on the Twitter short message service.
Xiaomi only announced the exact technology that the charger had been equipped with 144 antennas for transmission. Terminal devices would also need special antennas in order to receive the transmission.
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Upon request, a spokesman did not want to commit to a schedule for the product launch. “In any case, it will not come onto the market this year,” it said. Further technical details, such as the maximum number of devices that can be charged at the same time, have not yet been finally clarified.
The idea of charging electronic devices even over longer distances is not new. The US company Energous presented a corresponding technology years ago. Another player in the market is the Powercast company. The aim of all approaches is to make the connection to a socket or a charging pad superfluous.
However, it has become quiet about the providers. For this type of power supply, the end devices must also support the technology. There were rumors that Energous had been using it years ago Apple was in talks about a cooperation.
Xiaomi does not need a partner to start
In 2017, however, Apple then introduced the Qi standard, with which devices can be charged without cables, but must be placed on a corresponding charging pad. Energous also advertised it in 2018, with the Deutsche Telekom to be in exchange. However, Telekom has not yet had a joint product in its range.
In contrast to specialized providers such as Energous or Powercast, Xiaomi is not yet dependent on partnerships in the first step. The Chinese manufacturer itself maintains a broad portfolio of end devices such as vacuum cleaner robots, flying drones and fitness bands. Should Xiaomi equip its own devices with the appropriate reception technology, the group would not only have a charger on offer, but also the corresponding products that benefit from it.
The fact that Xiaomi presents the technology without specifying a specific launch date, however, underlines the level of development. Obviously, many more steps are necessary before the concept presented can really become a product for the mass market.
More: The US Department of Defense sees Xiaomi as a danger and imposes sanctions on the company. Beijing announces retaliation.