Print 34 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on Aug 7 at 2:14 PM

It'll be released later this year

Mobile gadget users will be able to charge their devices from two inches away from the charging device as soon as the end of this year. 
According to the Wireless Power Consortium, it will be releasing version 1.2 of its Qi wireless charging standard, which will allow smartphones, tablets and eventually household appliances to be charged from two inches away. 
The difference between version 1.1 and version 1.2 is resonance charging. Version 1.1 used inductive charging instead, which means that the gadgets have to be physically touching a charging pad in order to actually charge. 
With resonance charging in version 1.2, the receiver and the transmitter won't need to physically touch each other anymore. They can be up to 45mm (1.77 inches) apart. 
In addition, the new standard is backwards-compatible, so if you already have a smartphone or tablet with Qi built-in, you can charge them from as much as 35mm away. 

Qi version 1.1
Further, it allows multiple devices to charge at the same time as long as they’re within range. 
“The WPC is committed to advancing a specification that offers the best user experience without sacrifices in critically important areas to consumers and businesses alike,” said Menno Treffers, chairman of the WPC. “This means backward compatibility with products already in the market and maintaining high-efficiency even over greater distances.” 
This could be pretty convenient, especially if you strategically placed Qi chargers around your home, office or car where your smartphone would begin to charge automatically. 
The Wireless Power Consortium even said version 1.2 will be able to push as much as 2,000 watts to larger products like kitchen appliances.
While we can expect to see version 1.2 products out later this year, Qi chargers for kitchen appliances aren't due out until 2015.

Source: Wireless Power Consortium

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Great news, everyone!
By GulWestfale on 7/31/2014 5:11:14 PM , Rating: 4
Finally, finally i will be able to hold my nearly dead phone 2 inches above the charging pad for 3 or 4 hours! what a godsend! this killer feature should have been included right from the start!

RE: Great news, everyone!
By amanojaku on 7/31/2014 5:55:09 PM , Rating: 4
What about being able to charge your phone just by putting it on a desk or tabletop that has a wireless charger built in?

You're a business person at a meeting and can't find a free outlet - wireless power

You're in a restaurant and realize your phone is dying - wireless power

Your charger cord is broken or missing - wireless power

Phone manufacturers decide to reclaim the space of a power plug - wireless power

It's a lot more useful than you think.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By FITCamaro on 8/1/2014 8:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yes if it were 2-3 feet perhaps. But 2" means you're setting your phone literally next to it. Not across the table from it.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By NellyFromMA on 8/1/2014 10:17:06 AM , Rating: 3
No where is it stated that the 2 inches can be impeded by another material.

I'd venture to guess it affects or neutralizes the gap at this stage.

You're heading in the right direction, but OP is right to basically state that there is nothing appreciably better about this vs the device it replaces.

Tech that takes many revisions to advance ever-so-slightly towards larger goals is fine enough, but each revision either needs to have something appreciable per iteration to entice existing customers to upgrade, or not even attempt to mark-up the price or push it as a great enhancement.

Otherwise, they expose themselves to that valid criticism.

There's nothing wrong with the release, its just hardly anything worth getting excited about, especially if you are an existing customer.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Solandri on 8/1/2014 1:20:06 PM , Rating: 4
There's nothing wrong with the release, its just hardly anything worth getting excited about, especially if you are an existing customer.

It's a huge improvement over existing designs. The range on current wireless chargers is short enough that it's hit and miss whether they'll work if your phone has a case. If you read the Amazon reviews for these chargers, one of the most frequent comments you'll see is "worked/didn't work with my phone's case".

This new design eliminates that problem.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By NellyFromMA on 8/7/2014 2:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
It's huge in a strictly technical / engineering capacity. Commercially, it sounds like a VERY marginal upgrade.

By your own description, the only consumers that would see any benefit are the ones that didn't have luck with cases on their phones, which sounds like only a portion of prior users with cases anyways.

I guess in order for me to qualify this as huge in commercial terms as described, there would need to be a very large market and possibly even a very large profit margin per unit moved in order for this to register as huge.

I can appreciate the innovation for what it is. But, this iteration doesn't sound like a game changer, it just sounds like a small step towards something potentially huge once the tech matures.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By retrospooty on 7/31/2014 5:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
You aren't looking at all of the potential usage scenarios... Not only is this useful for people with a case on their phone, its also useful to charge more than 1 device at a time. Also, like amonojaku mentioned, it can be built in to other devices.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Labotomizer on 7/31/2014 6:07:10 PM , Rating: 4
Wireless charging is awesome already. This makes it better. As far as I'm concerned it's really that simple.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Motoman on 7/31/2014 8:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Uh-huh. And what's the loss rate?

And "it doesn't matter I/we/they can afford to pay for the wasted power" is an invalid response.

As a society, generating and delivering electricity to throw it away at the point of consumption is horrifically moronic.

Physics is physics. Field induction losses grow exponentially with distance. No free lunch here.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By retrospooty on 7/31/2014 8:56:24 PM , Rating: 1

Seriously? Things like cell phones and small electronics use a fraction of a percent of things like your stove, heater, air conditioning and laundry. It's like complaining about a dripping faucet when the dam has burst and the town is on fire.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Labotomizer on 7/31/2014 9:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
Or complaining about NASA's budget...

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Solandri on 7/31/2014 9:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Galaxy S5 has a 3.85V 2800 mAh battery, or a 10.78 Wh capacity. Basically it's a container for carrying around 0.13 cents worth of electricity.

Even if you fully discharge and recharge your phone every day, you'll only have used $0.95 worth of electricity in 2 years. A 25% or even 50% loss is trivial compared to other places you could be saving energy. The most power-hungry applications are EVs, air conditioners, and heaters (including a dryer). Running a single 1500 Watt wall AC for 24 hours is like charging over 3000 phones from empty to full.

Those of you pooh-poohing wireless charging really should give it a try. The convenience of not having to fiddle with a cable to plug in every night is well worth the $25 cost of admission. I didn't think it'd be very useful when I got my Nexus 5 too, but there was a sale on Qi chargers so I picked one up. I can't imagine getting a phone without wireless charging now.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By hughlle on 8/1/2014 4:35:38 AM , Rating: 2
With its positives also comes. egatives though. To me, spending 2 seconds fiddling with a cable far outweighs the potential risk of me bumping the phone off the wireless pad or out of range in the middle of the night, and waking up to a semi dead phone, worse case still a dead phone, and no alarm waking me up for work. I'll stick to cables for now :-) but definitely not because I'd have to be completely moronic to just throw away those couple of cents of electricity.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Gondor on 8/1/2014 6:27:03 AM , Rating: 2
This is why my charger rests on the table, far from the bed. The additional benefit is that when the alarm goes off I can't just silence it and doze off again because I actually have to get up and go through the motions in order to turn it off :-)

I'm using Nexus 5 with a bumper sleeve and LG's larger Qi charger (the orb-like one). I have to position the phone carefully in order for it to start charging, which (presumably) wouldn't be an issue with this new standard. This new kind of charger would simplify the process, plus it would enable better cooling of the phone/battery while charging because it wouldn't have to stick to the warm charger directly.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Guspaz on 8/1/2014 9:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
$0.13 cents of power? Errm, my local utility would provide me with a bit more than 2 kilowatt horus of power for that price, not 0.01078 kilowatt hours.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Rukkian on 8/1/2014 12:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
FYI: $0.13 is not the same as .13 cents. You are 2 decimal points off, hence why you say 2kwh as opposed to .01kwh.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By w1z4rd on 8/1/2014 7:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
this is resonance charging, not induction / did you read the article? I agree its still a waste, but since we are getting closer and closer to fusion power, in a cpl decades or more it wont really matter since this tech (personally speaking) wont get that far with regards to market share. I work in technology and see no one yet with a wireless charger even tho they have that specific Lumia

This is an awesome step forward:) I would like to see numbers (im time constrained, sorry) on wastages\gains comparing 1.1 and 1.2

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Bubbacub on 8/1/2014 8:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
we are a long way from getting electricity from fusion.
ITER is taking its time and even it is only a tech development program, the first prototype fusion plant will be DEMO the successor to ITER. DEMO won't be up and running till 2050.

Even then if the fission industry has taught us anything - the costs will bumped up by greedy fcuks so that the cost per KWH remains very similar to existing electricity.

A better argument would be to create an international open market for fuel rod construction and to reduce the regulatory burden on the development and building of passively safe gen iv fission plants.

within 10-15 years we could have much cheaper carbon free electricity.

the nuclear, coal, gas, oil and green lobbbies (i.e. all of them) will prevent this from happening.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By Guspaz on 8/1/2014 9:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
Fusion is always 20 years away. It's possible that it will never be anything but always 20 years away.

RE: Great news, everyone!
By FITCamaro on 8/1/2014 11:14:48 AM , Rating: 3
Why would the nuclear lobby resist efforts to get more nuclear power?

RE: Great news, everyone!
By CZroe on 8/3/2014 9:06:38 AM , Rating: 2
Your criticism is misplaced. Qi has always had trouble working through certain phone cases. With this, even the last generation of Qi devices will overcome this with a new charger.

By Omega215D on 7/31/2014 4:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
That they're still developing the Qi standard even further considering many companies are trying to create another standard while also pushing for PMA.

RE: Suprised
By BZDTemp on 7/31/2014 5:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think it will be a while before any one standard becomes the market standard. In a way it is a good thing because as always competition pushes innovation forward and prices down, but on the other hand it confuses things.

I'm loving the new options that comes with the improves Qi. Not only is power without cables very convenient and I am loving it with my Lumia 920, but if it can as much power as they say there is safety benefits as well.

A unfortunately not uncommon kitchen accident is for smaller kids to get hold of the power cable for a water kettle and then tip it over on top of them - something which can be rather catastrophic if there is boiling water in the kettle. Such accidents can of course be avoided by placing the thing out of reach, but some people forget or get sloppy and then accidents does happen. A kettle with Qi and this no cable would be a lot safer.

RE: Suprised
By Omega215D on 7/31/2014 5:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer a more standardized approach since many phones come with one type of wireless charging built in and the establishment someone may be visiting might not have a compatible charging post.

The last two phones I've had came with the Qi standard but when I went to McDonald's they supported the PMA/ Duracell standard. I think Starbucks was the same way.

RE: Suprised
By amanojaku on 7/31/2014 5:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding here in the States is that AT&T and its partners (e.g McDonald's and Starbucks) support PMA, while Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon support Qi. The problem is Qi was adopted by mobile manufacturers, while PMA was adopted by non-mobile companies (notably Duracell).

However, most companies in one group appear to be members of another. Either there will be a consolidation of efforts, or one standard will definitively kill the other. Technically it should be PMA that died considering the mobile carrier support for Qi, but AT&T has a huge network of commercial partners, Duracell has PMA products, and GM's cars use PMA.

I think the third player you were talking about is Alliance for Wireless Power and its Rezence brand. Many of the members of Qi and PMA are also members of A4WP! So whichever standard becomes dominant, it's a safe bet that all phones will standardize on it quickly.

RE: Suprised
By Sonicmerlin on 8/1/2014 10:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't Rezance based off of Witricity's wireless resonance tech? The one they demonstrated wirelessly charging devices from multiple feet away?

RE: Suprised
By FITCamaro on 8/1/2014 8:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly we need laws for safer kettles then.

RE: Suprised
By BZDTemp on 8/3/2014 8:41:40 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe - it is hard to have laws on everything.

The better electric kettles have a based that is connected to the power and the kettle is then placed on that base when one is boiling the water. That solves the safety issue as long as that based is placed so the power cable is then not gonna be tangled up or get in the reach of small kids.

The kitchen is the place in homes where the most accidents happen. Thinking about safety can minimize or even remove a lot of the dangers - like say unplugging the blender before cleaning it and knowing where to put the fingers when using knifes.

Stepping stone
By Grimer21 on 7/31/2014 5:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
This is a very exciting (and giant) step in the right direction. My entire life I've dreamed of wireless power. Now we are that much closer, I'm ecstatic!

RE: Stepping stone
By GulWestfale on 7/31/2014 6:23:03 PM , Rating: 4
i dreamt of ice cream when i was little, then of porsche turbos, then came tits, and now... more tits and maybe a lottery win.

but hey man, whatever floats your boat!

RE: Stepping stone
By flyingpants1 on 8/1/2014 12:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
Let it be known that I went to buy some ice cream from the convenience store at the low low price of $8.99 on the basis of this comment.

Not enough yet
By Guspaz on 8/1/2014 9:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
When I can charge the devices in my backpack by setting my backpack on a table without opening it, then I'll be interested in wireless charging. Until then, wireless charging is useless to me, since it's virtually the same effort to unpack my devices to get them on a wireless charger than it is to do that and plug them in.

1.77 inches is getting close, though. 6 inches is probably enough to make what I want possible.

RE: Not enough yet
By Rukkian on 8/1/2014 1:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
I can understand what you are saying, and thought the same till my latest phone (LGG2 Verizon) came with it. I bought a charger to check it out, and in the car it is awesome. I just set my phone in the cubby hole in the dash, and it is charging. Much quicker (and more safe) than trying to fiddle with cables while I am trying to drive.

This should help as you will not need to be as close to the perfect alignment. I would actually like to get some more for certain places around the house, but am not ready to completely give up the cable at this point.

RE: Not enough yet
By gixser on 8/1/2014 4:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
I used to think it was gimmicky and of no use. I won't consider a phone without wireless charging now.

I have two QI wireless charging pads. One at my desk. One in my car. Its very rare for me to be anywhere near out of power and my desk/car is free from another wayward cable. Because of those two "power stations" I go to bed without my phone on a charger because its pretty much fully charged.

Also, I wonder how many otherwise perfectly usable smartphones have been discarded because the constant plugging and unplugging of power cables has broken the connector? In the distant past I've had a couple of broken BB's because of buggered USB ports.

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