Xiaomi has today brought, today, the dream of remote refuelling of all our smart devices a step closer. The Mi Air Charge is capable of charging batteries from several meters away. No, this is not science fiction – it’s 2021!
To start off, the gizmo will only work with smartphones. Later on it will function with smartwatches, fitness trackers and other smart gear. The ultimate goal is to turn the whole house wireless. Forget about charging cables, charging stands or even charging itself. As long as your device is in the vicinity of Mi Air Charge, it will be topped up.
How does it work?
The Chinese tech-giant announced the news on its blog earlier today. It all sounds terribly futuristic. This is how Xiaomi describes the tech.
“Xiaomi’s self-developed isolated charging pile has five phase interference antennas built in, which can accurately detect the location of the smartphone. A phase control array composed of 144 antennas transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.”
In order for this to function there needs to be similar tech on the receiving end. Smartphones that are compatible have a miniaturized antenna array with a “built-in beacon antenna and receiving antenna array. The first broadcasts position information. The second comprises of 14 miniature antennas that convert the millimeter wave signal into electric energy. This is done through something called the rectifier circuit.
As it stands right now, Mi Air charge can perform 5-watt charging from several meters away. This can only be done on one smartphone at a time. The goal, though, is to extend this to be usable on multiple devices at the same time.
No need to rearrange your furniture. Xiaomi says even physical obstacles do not reduce the charging efficiency.
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This is an important starting point that proves the concept. The dream is that soon we’ll have one of these sitting in our living rooms. From there they will power all our smart gear including wearables, smart speakers, desk lamps and more.
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