What Is A Qi Wireless Charging Pad, And Why Should You Care?
Simply put, a Qi wireless charging pad is a device that lets you wirelessly charge mobile gadgets – most commonly your cellphone. Simply plug in the charger, place your Qi-compatible device on top of the charging mat and let the wireless charger do its thing. It’s really as simple as that – unless you want to go into the nitty-gritty details of Qi charging and its implications for mobile gadgets.
It All Starts with Qi
Qi is the standard used by the Wireless Power Consortium for inductive electrical power transfer; the specifications of which were first published in 2009. First you have coils hidden within both the charger and the device to be charged. These coils allow the transfer of power as long as the coils are less than 5 millimeters apart – although some of the more modern variants are able to transfer power from 40 millimeters.
The early Qi wireless charging pads from 2009 to 2011 were only capable of transferring 5 watts, though advances in 2011 have allowed the transfer of up to 120 watts. Advances this 2015 have upped the ante; making it possible to transfer up to 1,000 watts – a kilowatt – using Qi charging.
There are two ways you can get your devices to work with a Qi wireless charging pad: get a device that’s already compatible in the first place, or you install an accessory that lets you charge your phone or tablet using a Qi wireless charge pad.
First off, you’ll want to visit WirelessPowerConsortium.com. Navigate to the “Products” page under “About Qi,” and you’ll find a product search section that you can use to check if your product is actually compatible with a wireless Qi charger. If your device is on the list, then congrats – all you need to do is get a Qi wireless charging pad that provides the wattage required for your gadget or gadgets.
You can also just open up your phone or tablet, inspect the battery or rear panel, and look for the line that says it supports Qi wireless charging.
If your device isn’t on the list, then you’ll need to install some hardware on your phone. Some models, like Android-powered Samsung Galaxy phones or Windows-powered Nokia Lumia phones, offer original add-ons that give t hem Qi wireless charging capabilities. You also have the option of buying third-party hardware like films or ribbon cables that connect with your device.
This option will require a bit of fiddling about and will have a visible impact on the aesthetic of your device, but it’s one way to let your phones work with a Qi wireless phone charger.
Qi In Your Life
The biggest reason to work with a Qi wireless charging pad is the sheer convenience of the whole setup.
Traditional chargers require a physical connection. You’ll need to plug the charger into your device and then remove that plug if you want to move the gadget around. You’ll also have to deal with a length of cable that will often get in the way of easily using the device while it is charging.
With wireless charging though, you can just place your smart phone on the Qi wireless charging pad and then pick it up when you need to use it again. No wires, no plugs. Just plop it down, pick it up, plop it down again. This is extremely useful in situations where you need to keep your gadgets all juiced up while still available for use, like in cars or at the workplace.
So keep this in mind the next time you shop around for accessories, and you’ll have a much more informed understanding of what a Qi wireless charging pad can do for you.
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