Over the weekend we learned that Motorola Mobility became the latest handset maker to join the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which signals we could see some more Qi-enabled phones soon. Other new additions to the WPC include France Telecom / Orange, paragon AG, and Salcomp Plc.
If you are wondering what the heck Qi (pronounced “chee”) is, then you are not alone. Qi the new interoperable standard for wireless charging and it’s the product of the Wireless Power Consortium, which comprises of over 70 companies including all our favorite handset makers.
Their vision is simple — turn every flat surface into a wireless charging station.
Most consumers are still unaware that all the handset makers have finally agreed on a universal standard for wireless charging, but the first Qi-enabled phones were demoed at CES and we hear several more announcements are coming during Mobile World Congress next week.
The WPC member list already included HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, so now that Motorola is on board we have all the major Android players working together to make universal wireless charing a reality in 2011.
The first part of the Qi standard definition was released this past summer and there are already several products available that sport the Qi logo. Energizer sells a charging pad and several sleeves that act as receivers.
Those who wish to experience the benefits of Qi, but don’t want to shell out the cash for a new phone should also know that Sanyo is a member of the WPC. Sanyo produces most of the batteries that power today’s smartphones and we hear they will be releasing some Qi-enabled batteries in the near future.
No one else is really reporting on Qi yet, but I find it to be one of those most interesting advancements in smartphones and it’s something I want in my next device. If you want to see Qi in your next phone, make sure you demand it and maybe the carriers will start listening.