Since Apple launched its new iPhone with wireless charging function, we all know that it is about to get huge boost in visibility in this industry.
Rumour has it that iPhone 8 was going to adopt the REAL wireless charging, which means you don't have to put your phone on a mat, instead just put it nearby a charging hub. Current wireless charging technology in the market seems to be more inconvenient than wired charging, cause your phone needs to be placed on somewhere, what about we want to charge it and use it at the same time?
Pi, who has won the TechCrunch's StartUp Battlefield Competition, is building a device that can charge multiple devices within a foot range. The Pi charger was developed based on Qi standard, therefore you can charge your Qi-enabled phone without adding any attachment to the phone. In this article, "wireless charging" means REAL contactless, wireless charging.
Wireless charging is not a new thing, companies like WiTricity, Energous, uBeam have been investing resources to develop this technology few years ago. However, there is still no matured and developed technology in presence, when there is, the reliability, practicality and safety need to be tested by the market with the lead of government and industry leaders.
Currently, the Pi charger works at any angle, meaning that your phone can be above, below, or to any side of the device, and you don't have to directly touch it like other wireless charging mats. The charger will mete out up to 10W per device, it is believed that the power will be affected by the numbers of devices that are connected to Pi.
According to the founder, the Pi won't come out until sometime in 2018, and it should cost less than US$200 shipped.
It's up to you whether you'd pay that much to get an extra foot of wireless wiggle room, especially when you could just buy an extra long charging cable. But Pi is moving us closer to a long distance charging future, even if it's only by a few inches for now.