Look For The Qi For A Wireless Charging Standard

In a blog post that I wrote yesterday, I ranted about the need for a wireless charging standard, and reader James Barnes provided a link to the Wireless Power Consortium in the comments of that post. The Wireless Power Consortium has created a wireless charging standard called Qi (pronounced chee), and products with the Qi logo on it are claiming they comply with the standard.

The member list of the Wireless Power Consortium includes popular mobile manufacturers like HTC, LG Electronics, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson. Notable are companies not on the list such as Apple, HP, or Powermat. I assume that the members intend to make products that follow the Qi standard.

It looks like the Qi standard process is more like Bluetooth rather than WiFi, by which I mean companies use the standard to produce products, like Bluetooth, but there isn’t a certification process that guarantees interoperability like there is for WiFi.

Energizer appears to be the only company that currently sells a product, the Energizer ICB2B-US Qi-Enabled Position Inductive Charger (that’s a mouth full), that complies with the Qi standard. It costs $67.24 at Amazon.com, and is also available at Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot. Unfortunately, this charger can only charge a iPhone 3G & 3GS, via a sleeve, and Blackberry Curve for which there is a replacement battery door.

Sanyo announced this past fall that they are developing battery packs that comply with the standard. Sanyo’s announcement is important because it means that any mobile device for which Sanyo makes a battery could charged wirelessly without alterations (sleeves, doors, etc.) to the device. I have not seen any information about when Sanyo’s batteries might be available.

I intend to keep an eye out for news about the Qi standard, and I am hoping that we see more products that follow the standard soon.