No strings attached.
Xiaomi has announced Mi Air Charge, a revolutionary new wireless charging technology that can charge your electronic devices remotely within a radius of several meters. “It’s not science fiction,” Xiaomi says in a blog post describing what it is calling a “bold attempt to turn the whole house ‘truly’ wireless.” Using a set of proprietary hardware, Xiaomi has reimagined everything we thought we knew about wireless charging and is working towards a future without any cables or wireless charging stands.
Xiaomi has built a transmitter, roughly the size of a Mi Air Purifier, which comes outfitted with five phase interference antennas to ‘accurately’ detect your phone’s location while another array of 144 antennas transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming to charge it ‘over-the-air’.
At this point, it is safe to assume this technology will work with Xiaomi phones—only—which, in the future, will pack a pair of their own antenna arrays, a dedicated beacon antenna to broadcast their location and receiving antennas to convert the millimeter wave signal into electric energy to facilitate charging.
We're excited to bring you the remote charging technology – Mi Air Charge Technology! Charge multiple devices simultaneously while you're gaming, walking around or even when something's in the way, no strings attached. Another giant leap forward in wireless charging technology! pic.twitter.com/wEoB10wOQ2
— Xiaomi (@Xiaomi) January 29, 2021
The technology in its current generation is capable of 5W remote charging a single device within several meters. It can also charge multiple devices at the same time. But the real ‘breakthrough’ bit, in our opinion, is the claim that “even physical obstacles do not reduce the charging efficiency.”
Xiaomi is going so far as to say smartwatches, bracelets and other wearable devices will also be able to use Mi Air Charge in the ‘near’ future and “soon our living room devices, including speakers, desk lamps and other small smart home products, will all be built upon a wireless power supply design, completely free of wires, making our living rooms truly wireless.”
The technology is not ready for prime time yet, which means Xiaomi is not ready to bring it to market anytime soon. There is also no guarantee if it will bring it to market at all, in its current form at least, but its vision is surely one-of-its-kind and straight from the future. It will be interesting to see how far Xiaomi can take this, and how soon, but most importantly, how long before we see it coming to life in our living rooms.