An MIT-based startup called Pi has created world’s first contactless wireless charging tech that pumps power to your smartphone or other compatible devices up to a distance of 1 feet. You don’t need to have a charging pad, just move your phone or tablet closer to the Pi device.
The device uses the same Qi charging technology – based on resonant inductive coupling – incorporated into Apple and other wireless charging devices. Pi adds contactless charging capabilities by aligning its magnetic field with your device using a patented technology.
Pi reminds me of the figures I used to see in physics textbooks. It looks like some inverted cone without the conical part. It can charge four devices (or more) at the same time and deliver up to 10W of power per device. However, the devices you add further would charge at reduced power.
Also, it solves one of biggest problems of charging pads which make them worse than wired chargers. You can move your phone while it’s resting on the pad and charging.
The contactless wireless charging tech is compatible with a variety of Android and Apple devices through a charging case that includes the resonant receiver. CEO John Macdonald showed off the Pi’s skills at TechCrunch Disrupt along with CTO Lixin Shi.
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“The hard part was figuring out how to make magnetic charging more flexible, multi-device, and extend its useful range. It took
us over a year to complete the mathematical proof that makes it all possible,” said Shi in a statement.
When available in the market, the Pi wireless charger is expected to cost around $200. You can Reserve your Pi device on the company’s website. The first 314 people to sign up would be eligible for a $50 discount.
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