The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has unveiled Qi2, the wireless charging successor to Qi that borrows some tricks from Apple’s MagSafe charging. The idea is to create a unified system that (should) work with both Android and Apple devices, the WPC wrote in a press release
Qi2 will replace the current Qi standard that has been around for over 13 years. It’ll be built off of Apple’s MagSafe technology that came along with the iPhone 12, using a similar system of magnets and a wireless charging coil. However, it will introduce something called the Magnetic Power Profile that ensures phones and other devices are perfectly aligned to maximum charging speed and efficiency. It also assures compatibility among brands.
“Qi2’s perfect alignment improves energy efficiency by reducing the energy loss that can happen when the phone or the charger is not aligned,” said WPC’s executive director Paul Struhsaker in a statement. “Just as important, Qi2 will greatly reduce the landfill waste associated with wired charger replacement due to plugs breaking and the stress placed on cords from daily connecting and disconnecting.”
The first Qi2.0 version will launch this year, with support for 15 watt charging, foreign object detection and more. It’ll also provide faster charging for some devices, improve safety and prevent device damage or battery life shortening.
The Magnetic Power Profile standard also makes improvements easier down the road. Future iterations will “significantly” raise charging levels past 15 watts, WPC told The Verge. It could also allow wireless charging for unusually-shaped accessories that aren’t compatible with the current crop of flat charging pads.
There are still some question marks, like whether Qi2 will be backwards-compatible with the current Qi standard or Apple’s MagSafe. It will reportedly also require authentication, which may allow manufacturers to refuse charging from non-certified devices.
Hopefully, device and charger manufacturers will strive to main compatibility. The Qi2 spec should be ready by this summer, and products are set to arrive by the holidays in 2023.
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