Faster and more efficient wireless charging that won’t have a negative impact on battery lifetime, that’s what the Qi2 standard promises to deliver. At the same time, this international standard is going to work across a much wider range of brands and devices. Sounds promising and like a big win for the consumer. Chargers with Qi2 technology, or “chee two” as it’s pronounced, should arrive on the market later this year.
The news was announced by the Wireless Power Consortium on Tuesday, ahead of CES 2023. Qi2 is going to be the new standard for charging your smartphones, wearables and even AR devices. The aim is for it to “ensure devices and chargers align perfectly”, so much like USB or BlueTooth, hopefully, the tech will be built into every device. Basically, it would mean you won’t have to worry about compatibility every time you get a new gadget.
Qi2 – Based on Apple’s MagSafe Chargers
Apple is not exactly known for sharing its technology and cross-brand compatibility is usually not its strong side. However, they are a member of the Wireless Power Consortium and have supplied crucial technology for powering the Qi2 standard. Qi2 will have a new Magnetic Power Profile that’s based on the tech in MagSafe chargers which is Apple’s current wireless chargers for iPhones.
The magnetic attachment inside the charger makes sure that its charging coil aligns with the one in the device you are charging. With better alignment, you get less power loss and more efficiency which leads to quicker charging. Right now there are no official numbers for what charging rate we could expect from Qi2. The current quickest wireless chargers are capped at 15W, so Qi2 should at least be above that.
If the speed increase that Qi2 is going to bring is big enough, it should help wireless chargers make a comeback. Right now, they have quite the speed gap to the likes of GaN chargers which undoubtedly has affected their popularity.
Magnetic charging brings more design options
Without magnets, a wireless charger basically requires the device that it charges to be designed with a flat surface that can be positioned on top of the charger’s flat surface. With Qi2 and its Magnetic Power Profile that will no longer be the case.
A big benefit of magnetic alignment is that it won’t require a flat surface-to-flat surface connection. In other words, the devices won’t have the same design limitation. It makes wireless charging much more viable for things like headphones and AR devices.
The complete specifications of the Qi2 standard are expected to be complete somewhere around mid-2023 and hopefully, products will be arriving in time for Christmas.