Among the many quite a few robots, TVs, EVs and this hair printer at CES was a quiet announcement in regards to the next-generation of wireless charging for phones and different rechargeable battery units. Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”) is the follow-up to Qi wi-fi charging that is discovered on telephones just like the iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 7.

The following model of Qi guarantees to be extra environment friendly partially as a result of magnets that assist place units in an excellent alignment on charging pads. If that sounds acquainted that is as a result of Apple’s MagSafe charging, which rolled out with the iPhone 12 in 2020, is basically that. In reality Apple, which is likely one of the over 350 firms that make up the Wi-fi Energy Consortium, helped design the Magnetic Energy Profile that is part of Qi2.

Whereas the Magnetic Energy Profile is not precisely the identical as MagSafe, it might result in Qi2 being adopted on extra units, together with AR or VR headsets. It might additionally result in sooner charging speeds. At the moment, Qi wi-fi charging caps out at 15W, which additionally occurs to be the max speed for Apple’s MagSafe charging on iPhones.

iPhone 12, 12 Pro and MagSafe accessories

Apple’s MagSafe makes use of Qi wi-fi charging however the magnets permit for quite a lot of equipment.

Patrick Holland/CNET

“Qi2’s good alignment improves vitality effectivity by decreasing the vitality loss that may occur when the telephone or the charger shouldn’t be aligned,” Wi-fi Energy Consortium government director Paul Struhsaker mentioned in a press release. “Simply as vital, Qi2 will significantly scale back the landfill waste related to wired charger substitute as a result of plugs breaking and the stress positioned on cords from every day connecting and disconnecting.”

One other benefit of Qi2 is the potential for equipment. Check out the variety of MagSafe and magnetic accessories currently made for the iPhone. There’s every thing from instances and charging stands to tripod mounts and wallets. Android telephones that help Qi2 may benefit from an identical vary of equipment. 

Contemplating that Android telephones are available in all sizes and styles, Qi2 and its Magnetic Energy Profile might be an equalizer that makes some equipment interchangeable between totally different telephones and even totally different units. Qi2 presents a stage of ubiquity just like what USB-C connectors present, with out the confusion brought on by totally different USB-C cable varieties that every one look the identical. It is onerous to inform the distinction between a USB-C cable that helps Thunderbolt 3 and one which helps USB 4.

Qi2’s Magnetic Energy Profile shouldn’t be the identical as MagSafe, which makes use of additionally magnets however organized in a unique place. So that you could not connect a MagSafe charger to a telephone with Qi2. I ought to acknowledge that some companies make magnetic cases for Android phones that permit them to work with MagSafe.

MagSafe additionally comprises a microprocessor, which Qi2’s Magnetic Energy Profile lacks, that enables an iPhone to know what it is linked to. For instance, when you take away Apple’s MagSafe pockets out of your iPhone, it would mark the placement the place it was final hooked up and may even ship you a notification that it’s separated from the telephone. I think about Android telephone makers might add their very own microprocessor to Qi2 for comparable performance.

With the EU forcing Apple to change future iPhone models from Lightning wired charging to USB-C, Qi2 might additionally present Apple a roadmap toward a port-less iPhone which has been rumored for a number of years. And as Qi2 is a typical, it might assist Apple keep away from any potential motion from the EU round wi-fi charging.

On the entire, Qi2 holds a number of promise. And whereas it is not clear if Apple will change MagSafe with Qi2’s Magnetic Energy Profile, it does show that even rival firms can agree on a typical that advantages us all. Now do that for textual content messaging.

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