This week Toyota announced their 2013 Avalon Limited will be the first vehicle available in the world that offers in-console Qi wireless charging for Qi-enabled mobile phones and devices. The frugal ones among us might go with a $10 wired charger in our cars, but the $45k Avalon Limited would be a pretty cool way to show off a Qi-enabled Android phone like the LG Nexus 4 or HTC Droid DNA.
We have been following wireless charging for the last couple of years, and it appears Qi is the most popular standard right now. Backed by over 130 member companies in the Wireless Power Consortium, Qi has established an ecosystem of compatible phones, chargers, audio docks, video docks, and other mobile phone peripherals.
Even though Qi is in the lead, that hasn’t stopped competitors from trying to introduce their own wireless charging standards. Qualcomm and Samsung have formed the Alliance for Wireless Power and AT&T, Starbucks, and Google are backing the Power Matters Alliance. Apple will likely introduce their own proprietary wireless charging standard at some time in the future.
As an owner of the Nexus 4, I’m obviously rooting for the Qi standard. The Nexus 4 could become the best selling smartphone with Qi wireless charging built in, but Samsung could really shake things up if they decide to introduce a different standard in their Galaxy S IV next year. I wish all these companies could just agree on one open standard and all wireless charging accessories become interoperable, but I’m not holding my breath.
Check out the 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited in the video below and let us know if you would like to see wireless charging as an option in your next vehicle.