Wireless charging isn't quite as convenient as it sounds. It still needs the phone to be placed in a dock or on a mat, or in the case of Apple's new MagSafe solution, basically tethered to a cable. However, Xiaomi claims to have developed a new charging technology that can wirelessly charge a phone over the air, which would truly be a game-changer.
Before you get too excited, this won't be coming to a retail device this year. Nonetheless, the technology is pretty exciting and offers a glimpse of a much more convenient wireless charging future.
Mi Air Charge can juice up two devices at once, so long as they are “within a radius of several meters.” It achieves this with the help of multiple antennas (144, to be precise) that transmit millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming. The phone then converts these waves into electrical energy.
The entire setup only supports 5W charging at the moment. That is obviously nowhere near as fast as the 80W wireless charging solution the company showcased last year, or even the slowest wired charger on today's budget phones. But hey, it's a start, and the convenience it would offer is tremendous. Xiaomi isn't the only company to work on such a solution, though. Motorola, Energous, and Ossia are also developing similar tech. Hopefully, we'll see it being implemented in a commercial smartphone soon.