The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) – the group behind the Qi wireless charging standard on most smartphones today – has just announced a new version its Qi charging specification that is capable of delivering more power to devices. Despite the merger of rival groups Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) in January, it seems that WPC is forging ahead anyway with the development of the Qi inductive charging standard
According to WPC, this means up to 15 watts of power to mobile devices, which will result in faster charging and consequently a better user experience. While fast charging isn’t new and is already found on devices like the Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6, it has so far been limited to wired charging via an included power adapter.
The upgraded Qi specification will allow manufacturers to extend similar fast charging speeds to wireless charging. Qi-compatible products already comprise a fairly large wireless charging ecosystem, and its new capabilities could help convince more users of the merits of wireless charging. The new standard is also backward compatible with existing Qi wireless charging products.
Up till this point, one of the barriers to getting on board with wireless charging was its inefficiency compared to traditional charging and its slower speeds. However, the ability to implement faster wireless charging could now make it a lot more practical, especially in devices like wireless car chargers where users do not have the luxury of time to wait for a full charge.