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Forget QI and MagSafe, Xiaomi just announced Air Charge technology

We’ve seen plenty of developments in wireless charging over the last couple of years. The OnePlus 8T could offer 65W wireless replenishment, while Apple’s proprietary MagSafe tech has a ton of potential.

However, as good as these solutions are becoming, they still have one major drawback; they require your phone to be connected to a surface to do the job. Xiaomi wants to change all that with a truly wireless charging solution.

In a blog post, the company has introduced the Mi Air Charge technology, a future-thinking concept which it says will remotely charge devices from elsewhere in the room.

The new tech uses a base station containing 144 antennas, which can transfer energy to the phone using a “extremely narrow millimetre-wide beam” capable of transmitting continuous 5W charging (within a few metres) to a compatible smartphone.

Xiaomi says the system will eventually support multiple devices including smartphones and speakers – even smartwatches while you’re wearing them. You’ll also be able to charge on the move, when gaming, or even when there’s objects impeding the direct line of sight.

Xiaomi explains: “The core technology of Xiaomi’s remote charging lies in space positioning and energy transmission. Xiaomi’s self-developed isolated charging pile has five phase interference antennas built in, which can accurately detect the location of the smartphone. A phase control array composed of 144 antennas transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.”

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The company goes onto say: “Soon our living room devices, including speakers, desk lamps and other small smart home products, will all be built upon a wireless power supply design, completely free of wires, making our living rooms truly wireless.”

Xiaomi says the concept is based on technology rather than science fiction, but there’s no indication of when the tech might by introduced as a consumer product. We’re not too sure about a device with 144 antennas in our living rooms at all times, from a safety perspective, but we’ll reserve judgement until Xiaomi unveils the product in full.

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