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Wireless Power Consortium Pushes for "Qi" Standard

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the someone-call-apple dept.

189

The Wireless Power Consortium (comprised of Samsung, Sanyo, Olympus, Philips, Texas Instruments, and others) has started a push towards a wireless charging standard under the moniker "Qi" (pronounced "chee"). "Members of the Wireless Power Consortium are reviewing version 0.95 of its technical specification which defines a proposed standard for charging devices, using up to 5Watts power, delivered by electromagnetic induction. The spec could evolve into a standard — and will be demonstrated by multiple vendors on September 15th to 16th. ... It is less ambitious than the system demonstrated this summer by Witricity, which operates at a distance of a few meters, using resonance, which the company claims has green benefits through replacing disposable batteries."

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Qi: The Greatest of All Scrabble Words (1, Offtopic)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097701)

I am very familiar with qi, since the Fourth Edition Scrabble Dictionary made it the most life saving play at the end of the game when fate deals you a Q [trussel.com] .

Re:Qi: The Greatest of All Scrabble Words (3, Informative)

Rand310 (264407) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098907)

Qi, as in the Chinese romanization of æ£.
This is the same "qi" as Taichi's 'chi'. The life energy
It's the same 'chi' as the japanese 'Ki' æ-- as in "Tenki" (weather)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi

*Slashdot really needs to move into the modern era with support for international unicode characters...

I am so sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29097707)

The first thing I thought of was Star Trek

Pronounced "Chee" (0, Redundant)

BurzumNazgul (1163509) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097739)

...for those that don't want to read the article but may wish to discuss it intelligently in person.

Re:Pronounced "Chee" (5, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097799)

...for those that don't want to read the summary but may wish to discuss it intelligently in person.

There. Fixed that for you.

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (2, Informative)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098155)

...for those that don't want to read the first damn sentence in the summary but may wish to discuss it intelligently in person.

There. Fixed that for you.

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098455)

Wait until people start mis-prounouncing it "Kwee" and it becomes the standard spoken form. Sort of like Linux "Linucks" / "Lye-nucks" debate or the Hyundai "Hayundai"/"Hyoondai"/"Hunday" one..
Anyway, why spell it "Qi" when the Chinese/Japanese language does not use the Latin script ? I could understand it if the company in question was Malaysian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language#Writing_system) and they spelled the word "Chee" as "Qi" in their language.

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (3, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098611)

Anyway, why spell it "Qi" when the Chinese/Japanese language does not use the Latin script ?

Because "Qi" is sexy-looking and just begs for an elegant logo. "Chee" looks horrible and cheap.

Once again, you demonstrate why technology nerds should never be allowed to name any product or technology.

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (2, Interesting)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098667)

I'll give you the logo part, it is difficult to make a logo around Chee.
But the "Sexy" part is debatable. I bet that a word that sounds like Kwee "sounds" cheap to Asian ears, while a word that sounds like Chee sounds sophisticated.I'll even bet that Chinese has a nice pictogram for Chee, while Kwee probably has none.
It is only to English speakers ear that Chee sounds cheap (mostly due to the similarity of the sounds), while Kwee sounds like greek Ki or royal (similar to Queen? ).

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099021)

I bet that a word that sounds like Kwee "sounds" cheap to Asian ears,

But it doesn't sound like "Kwee" it sounds like "Chee" - so it has the best of both worlds.

It is only to English speakers ear that Chee sounds cheap

I never said that "Chee" sounds cheap. I said it looks cheap. It sounds perfectly fine to my ears, and most English speakers would know the word, with a significant minority actually participating in practices that use the concept.

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098765)

What? It's not because we'd split into two camps: one that names things sensibly (read: boring), and another that gives everything a comic book gloss (read: juvenile)?

Frankly I'd be quite happy calling it by the IEEE designation.

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099031)

What? It's not because we'd split into two camps: one that names things sensibly (read: boring), and another that gives everything a comic book gloss (read: juvenile)?

What the hell are you talking about?

Re: Pronounced "Chee" (3, Informative)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098647)

It's called pinyin [wikipedia.org] and is the standard romanisation of Chinese characters. It is used in China and therefore they DO use the "latin script".

That's boring! Wake me up (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097797)

When I'll be bale to forget about any power cable and contact-less docking power charger, please!
We need the real wireless charger!

Re:That's boring! Wake me up (3, Insightful)

capnchicken (664317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097857)

Probably as soon as all the patents held by trolls in Texas run their litigious course. See you in thirty years!

Re:That's boring! Wake me up (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097887)

I can't see why we wouldn't need both - an induction system for recharging batteries, and a resonance system for wireless power. We need the latter because it make wireless power a reality, we need the former because there won't be universal coverage of the latter.

Transliteration is dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098279)

If it is pronounced "chee" why not spell it "chee?"

Why must we bind ourselves to a transliteration table that winds up producing words that are pronounced nothing like how they are spelled, and further bastardize the English language?

It's dumb. Nothing good comes of it.

Re:Transliteration is dumb (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098379)

Because it's Chinese and that's how it is spelled when Chinese is romanized.

Re:Transliteration is dumb (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098661)

If it is pronounced "chee" why not spell it "chee?"

See my post here for an explanation. [slashdot.org]

Why must we bind ourselves to a transliteration table that winds up producing words that are pronounced nothing like how they are spelled, and further bastardize the English language?

How can you bastardize the English language, when it has always been bastardized? That's the appeal of the English language.

If you hadn't noticed, English is chock-full of words that aren't pronounced how they are spelled. It's a major aspect of the language's charm and beauty. Can you imagine how boring and hideous it would be if every word was spelled phonetically?

Re:Transliteration is dumb (2, Funny)

Slartibartfass (1131161) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098805)

Can you imagine how boring and hideous it would be if every word was spelled phonetically?

You mean like, french?

Re:Transliteration is dumb (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099299)

More like Spanish or Welsh. Welsh is most fun, because it is phonetic but uses a very different mapping between letters and sounds to English, meaning that you get words that look like they are made entirely of consonants, but when pronounced are almost entirely vowels.

Re:Transliteration is dumb (1)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099279)

If it is pronounced "chee" why not spell it "chee?"

Why must we bind ourselves to a transliteration table that winds up producing words that are pronounced nothing like how they are spelled, and further bastardize the English language?

It's dumb. Nothing good comes of it.

"Qi" is pronounced as it is spelled. The "Q" letter is defined to make a "CH" sound in Pinyin ("CH" is a similar but slightly different sound in Pinyin). The "I" is defined to make an "EE" sound along with its respective inflection (sometimes marked with diacritics or by numbers). As for bastardizing the English language, it has nothing to do with the English language. It's a romanization of Chinese -- that is, a system for writing spoken Chinese with the Latin alphabet (not the English pronunciation of it). The previous Wades-Giles system was closer to English in its pronunciations ("Qi" was spelled "Ch'i"), but it was abandoned a few decades ago.

Suffice it to say, the people who developed Pinyin over 50 years ago did so to alleviate the problems of using the more English-friendly phonetic systems. Going back to them would be a huge mistake, as the English pronunciation of the alphabet can not cover spoken Chinese accurately.

Health Issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29097829)

I am sure that the engineers are competent at all of these companies. And are concerned about safety.

But, what ARE the health concerns about pumping so much energy out, even if over such a short range?

Re:Health Issues? (4, Insightful)

cruff (171569) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097877)

5 watts is not a lot of energy. It's not like it is an induction cook top and you are a ferrous pan or anything. :-)

Re:Health Issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29099085)

You're right, 5 watts is not a lot of energy. It's not a lot of power... ;)

Re:Health Issues? (2, Funny)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099429)

Watt is the unit of Power?

I'm sorry I'll get my coat

Re:Health Issues? (2, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098175)

Your cell phone pumps out about 4W on a regular basis, and you keep it in your pocket next to your junk.

Re:Health Issues? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098819)

Your cell phone pumps out about 4W on a regular basis, and you keep it in your pocket next to your junk.

No, cell phones are NOT continuously pumping out 4 watts.

You are FAR off the mark with the claim of 4W.
It is more like 0.250 watts and below for your average cell phone. In fact, there are STRINGENT FCC restrictions on how much power you can put out within 20cm of your skin. Even laptops are restricted to the sub half-watt power range for their wireless and broadband cards. Usually 100mw in your Novatel broadband card.

Re:Health Issues? (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098991)

Try reading what I wrote. Nobody said cell phones are continuously pumping out 4W.

Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org] "The radio waves emitted by a GSM handset, can have a peak power of 2 watts, and a US analogue phone had a maximum transmit power of 3.6 watts."

Like I said, cell phones regularly pump out about 4W.

Re:Health Issues? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098409)

But, what ARE the health concerns about pumping so much energy out, even if over such a short range?

I'm not honestly sure myself. We better ask goku! [youtube.com]

Re:Health Issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098643)

Only if it's over 9000.

A step in the right direction (4, Funny)

Peter Steil (1619597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097841)

This is definitely a step in the right direction. I know it's really frustrating looking for a non-standard plug for my phone. I'm sure the days of searching for the right power adapter are limited.

Time to buy stock (0)

overshoot (39700) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097847)

... in suppliers of tinfoil hats. Electromagnetic fields in our houses!!!!!

The end of civilization as we know it?

Re:Time to buy stock (4, Interesting)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097961)

Actually, when this becomes real a tinfoil hat may be the very last thing you'd want to wear. I'm assuming this is sort of like what happens if you go near really high capacity power lines with a flouescent bulb, where the power in the air is enough to cause the bulb to light. It's also enough that having lived near one long enough I can attest that metal isn't fun to wear near one.

Re:Time to buy stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098071)

Be an optimist: think of this as an opportunity to do some well needed trimming.

soon..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29097885)

we won't have to raise our arms in the air for 4 weeks while goku charges his spirit bombs

Yucky. (5, Funny)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097893)

Kind of like the corruption of the Elves into Orcs in LOTR, the idea of charging the air with yet more EM pollution and calling it "Qi" makes a sick mockery of the real thing.

And there's a frickin' pyramid with an eye ball on the dollar bill.

We're being laughed at even as we are mutilated and enslaved.

Cue the conceited, ill-informed rationalizations.

-FL

Re:Yucky. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098217)

lol

Re:Yucky. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098437)

makes a sick mockery of the real thing.

Ok, so tell me...

What is the real thing? How can it be measured and tested? Couldn't it be used for evil, as well as good?

Cue the conceited, ill-informed rationalizations.

Oh, I'm not saying that this particular "Qi" is a good thing. I'm saying that there's no proof that "real" Qi exists, nor that it would be beneficial.

I'm also not aware of any evidence that this "EM pollution" is harmful, but at least we sort of know what it is, and can measure its effect, so I trust it a hell of a lot more than I'd trust "real" Qi, if you managed to produce any.

Re:Yucky. (1)

JKWSN (1614313) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098645)

We're being laughed at even as we are mutilated and enslaved.

I think they [youtube.com] are also singing!

Re:Yucky. (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098795)

I'm not actually sure if this is meant to be a joke or not.

Re:Yucky. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29099387)

God I hope this is a joke!!

Seriously "the real thing"???

DBZ (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097913)

Maybe they could make stations (running Android) that do big blasts of that Qi charges for big devices, electric cars, etc. I propose to put them under the moniker "Kame Hame Ha".

I propose the "Kuir." Pronounced "queer." (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29097923)

Maybe Rob Malda would understand it then. Oh. Yes. Hell yes. I went there.

Efficiency (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#29097925)

But how efficient would this be vs a wall wart?

-l

Re:Efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098099)

Fair question. But if the docking station is smarter than a wall wart, it could end up being more efficient (despite greater transfer losses) by virtue of not heating your house (as much) while not in use.

The wall warts for my cell phone and bluetooth headset spend 95% of their time plugged in but not in use, constantly wasting a non-zero amount of energy because they're too dumb to sleep.

Re:Efficiency (2, Informative)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098639)

Most wall warts nowadays are switch mode and use almost no power when not in use.

Re:Efficiency (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098145)

I guess that one device, at 50% efficiency would probably be a ton better than 3-4 devices at >75% efficiency, but you are right..

They need to have a low power (damn near off mode) and then when something is placed nearby, then ramp up the power.. going back to low power mode again as soon as its removed.

Re:Efficiency (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098521)

What kind of damage could a table like this do to a credit card, backup tape, etc?

Re:Efficiency (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098717)

This was my first concern. If a device is not being charged, isn't there still some power being used?

I've wondered this about transformer wall-warts too, which is also an inductive coupling (without as much gap between the coils though). Despite all the coiling of the wire, there's still a closed circuit when you plug it into the wall and the primary coil will have some non-zero resistance, and I doubt a wall wart is anywhere close to 100% efficiency.

So what's better for efficiency and power less when there is no load: the wireless induction system here, or the wireless resonance system? Or is this a case of industry hopping on board the first convenient standard rather than going with the better solution?

Re:Efficiency (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099649)

Well, you could design the charging system as a plate where you place your equipment, and have a simple weight-activated contact underneath the plate. That way you'd save on some of that standby-power they are all so worried about. And maybe this new system would actually end up having a lower TCO than normal wall-warts during normal use.

Brain Cancer Again... (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098115)

I forsee Witricity adapters and a slew of 3rd party knock-off components for home and travel that allow us to bathe ourselves in a continuous blanket of electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day. I think some independant studies should be conducted to see the prolonged effects of real-world impact of this convenience. We are no longer happy with the two-hours it takes to recharge a day's worth of mobile device use, we have to charge it wirelessly while it's in use performing wireless tasks. If breaking the grip of proprietary adapter plugs is the point of contention, move the industry to a standard docking cradle, like walkie-talkies. Put the electronic toys down and go do something else. The upside of course would be the eventual decline of questions like, "can I borrow your charger?".

Re:Brain Cancer Again... (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098649)

The upside of course would be the eventual decline of questions like, "can I borrow your charger?".

And with it, a further decline in geeks' chances to score chicks.

Re:Brain Cancer Again... (2, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099391)

I forsee Witricity adapters and a slew of 3rd party knock-off components for home and travel that allow us to bathe ourselves in a continuous blanket of electromagnetic radiation 24 hours a day.

Sorry to tell you, but that's already happening from sources such as:

  • AM radio
  • FM radio
  • Television
  • That large nearby star
  • The electric power grid
  • Your computer
  • RADAR in the black helicopter that's following you around.

Wasted technology? (2, Insightful)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098121)

Maybe I just don't understand their plan, but this seems like it would be close to a useless technology. It seems like it would be more expensive to develop and implement than a standard power cable, and you would have to set your device onto the power mat. Does it really take that much effort to grab the cable and plug it in? Also, in the case of cell phones, you wouldn't be able to use the cell phone while it's charging like most cell phones allow you to do currently. Win = Power cord.

Now, the other technology that was mentioned in the article uses electromagnetic fields. This seems like it would be incredibly inefficient as you would be beaming energy to nothing in particular in hopes that something was using it. With this technology, you wouldn't have to leave your mobile device on a mat, but you would still need to be within 2m of the source. It still seems like a traditional power cord wins.

Now, I know that Slashdot is all about advancing technology, but how do they get over these hurdles? It seems like developing a universal wired charging station would be more advantageous in the short run. What am I missing?

Re:Wasted technology? (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098323)

Maybe I just don't understand their plan, but this seems like it would be close to a useless technology. It seems like it would be more expensive to develop and implement than a standard power cable, and you would have to set your device onto the power mat.

The average user does not like cables.

You are just not the average user.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098599)

And in ten years, when someone points out that you can save $100 per year on electricity by using an all new cabled cell phone charger, suddenly the average user will love cables all over again. The average user doesn't know what he/she wants or needs and never will. Therefore, you should design products to cater to power users in terms of capabilities and complete idiots in terms of ease of use, and ignore the protestations of the proles. Anything else will inevitably lead to products designed by committee that satisfy no one at all.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098783)

And the average user won't know what they want because they don't have the information. You can't browse phone chargers at the store and compare the on-box listings of "dollars per month". So the user is going to compare based on convenience and price.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099109)

My point was that somebody will get the bright idea to start advertising wired chargers a few years later as the "green, money-saving alternative to wireless chargers", at which point customers would have at least some of the information....

Wireless power for most consumer devices is without a doubt the most idiotic concept I've heard suggested in the consumer space lately. The EM spectrum is already an awful mess. We shouldn't be raising the noise floor and wrecking our environment by increasing the consumption of all these current-guzzling power supplies just so that people don't have to plug things in. We should be mandating that all traditional transformer-based supplies be replaced with power-factor-corrected switched mode power supplies, not moving one side of the mains transformer farther away from the other side and cutting the efficiency further.... If you really want to simplify things, don't replace the cable with a wireless hack; do what the EU is doing---move towards a standard power supply voltage and connector for small consumer electronics.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099315)

Maybe I just don't understand their plan, but this seems like it would be close to a useless technology. It seems like it would be more expensive to develop and implement than a standard power cable, and you would have to set your device onto the power mat.

The average user does not like cables.

You are just not the average user.

The average user does not like cables.

You are just not the average user.

Not to mention that, the parent mentions a "standard power cable". Please tell me what power cable is standard for portable devices. For desktops, yes, I have a drawer full of them, but for portables, you get everything from custom sync connectors that charge to USB, mini-USB and more.

Re:Wasted technology? (3, Interesting)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098381)

I can charge ten things with one plate. Epic win.

Re:Wasted technology? (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098581)

I can charge ten things with one plate

Well, assuming that the standard is complete with no areas left as implementation decisions, and that they all use the same resonance frequency, and all the participants conform fully to the proposal, and that no-one decides to add some sort of proprietary encrypted handshaking protocol on the charging cycle (purely in the interests of security, of course).

Otherwise, you could well end up with ten plates to charge ten devices, which would be a bit of a step back.

The thing to remember is that in all probability, for every company which has someone championing the standard, there is also a division within that company that makes most of its money from selling overpriced replacements for proprietary cables. So it's reasonable to suppose that some people are going to work to undermine this, right from the start.

OK, tin-foil hat stuff, I know. The point I'm trying to make is let's not get too caught up in all the enthusiasm.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098601)

That's only an epic win if you have ten things. Plus, wouldn't all ten things be drawing from the same rather small power supply? That sounds like it's going to be pretty slow. Maybe I don't understand how it works, could be. :)

Re:Wasted technology? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098547)

I find really interesting that devices such as my cellphone won't suffer from worn connectors that don't make really good contact and go to waste.

Some people abuse of electronic devices, as much or more than me. Wireless power will probably have its own problems, but solving the worn connector problem seems like a lot to me.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

megrims (839585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098585)

Power cord insertions and removals cause significant strain on the components involved. I've had several devices where the solder has eventually broken, making the device much harder to use.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098627)

Only poorly designed connectors have this problem. Take a look at Apple's MagSafe connector or the connector that Sony Ericsson uses for examples of how to build connectors that should never wear out in this way, abuse notwithstanding.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098973)

It's odd that you give those examples, I had a magsafe cord fail at the point where the cable enters and SE used to (giving them the benefit of doubt that they don't now) use soldered joints to attach connectors and worse still, volume sliders, to the PCB. I always had it drummed into me that solder is useless for attaching anything that might every carry a load, much less be put in a position to suffer fatigue.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099185)

Just to clarify, in both examples, I was referring to the device, not the power cord. Thin DC power cords break. That's why I'm of the opinion that the government should mandate that all power cords on all devices have a connector on both ends and be available as a replacement part without buying an entire power supply. :-) IMHO, the key to good power connector design is to ensure that if something is going to break, it's the cheap power cord and not the expensive device plugged into that power cord.

Regarding the soldering on the Sony Ericsson connectors, the connectors I've seen are a series of metal plates that appear to be a fairly integral part of one section of the phone's plastic case. Assuming they didn't do something stupid in the actual design of the connector, it should be darn near impossible to break without breaking the case. I wouldn't put it past Sony to do something stupid inside the connector, of course, but my SE phone is still functioning (albeit replaced by an iPhone) after about seven or eight years. That's not half bad for a cheap phone.

Where's the magsafe connector for my iPhone? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099545)

I'm fairly certain that the connector on my iphone will crap out way before the phone itself does, I wish there was a magsafe power port either as a usable subset of the connector or a seperate charging port.

As often as an iPhone needs to be charged, I don't see the edged connector lasting very long.

Re:Wasted technology? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098791)

It wasn't Apple gear by any chance? I've had enough of their cables die on me to learn that the words "strain relief" don't exist in their lexicon.

Funny, EU just got a standard plug for mobile phon (1)

Mike Zilva (785109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098141)

For many years we've had wireless charging for electric tooth-brush, and a lot of diferent plugs on chargers for mobile phones.

Now that EU will force a standard plug for charging mobile phones, we are going to move away from plugs :)

Re:Funny, EU just got a standard plug for mobile p (1)

Mike Zilva (785109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098223)

Let's hope wireless power doesn't break the magnetic compass in some of the new devices...

Re:Funny, EU just got a standard plug for mobile p (1)

Mike Zilva (785109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098267)

Anyway, I'd love to replace the back cover of my Android phone with a thin wireless power receiver...

Re:Funny, EU just got a standard plug for mobile p (2, Interesting)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098545)

Hmmm, I wonder how many companies will start making small adapters that plug into your old phone/pda/etc's power plug so they work with this new interface...

Re:Funny, EU just got a standard plug for mobile p (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098229)

I see the EU being first in a lot of consumer areas. Their own version of Windows, devices that are released in Europe before the US and now a standard mobile phone adapter. I'd be curious to know why in the land where consumers are king, products are often bloated, stripped down and late.

Re:Funny, EU just got a standard plug for mobile p (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098535)

I'd be curious to know why in the land where consumers are king, products are often bloated, stripped down and late.

American consumers are king like cattle are king on the feedlot.

This is a good thing (2, Interesting)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098169)

This is potentially a good thing. How many different charging devices do you have at the moment? I've got one for AAA and AA batteries, one for my phone, one for my iPod, one for my wife's phone, one for my DSLR, one for my camcorder, one for my...

I don't need long-range wireless power, like some developments are working on -- whilst this would be quite cool, it's very inefficient at this stage. Wireless charging of all these devices would however be a great benefit to reduce clutter and waste. If all the devices are compatible with the one spec of charger, then should I lose my phone charger, it doesn't matter as it's compatible with the charger I've got. I've had to replace one of the phone chargers not that long ago too as SonyEricsson have quite a delicate clip on the plug -- if this clip breaks, then the plug won't stay attached and the device doesn't charge.

I already enjoy the benefits of wireless charging with my electric toothbrush - it sits in a base that charges it back up. There are no electrical contacts or plugs to get wet and gunky with toothpaste residue, it's just a smooth plastic ring that the toothbrush sits in and away it goes.

To have a pad that I could place any of my devices on to recharge would be incredibly convenient. I truly hope that enough manufactures adopt this standard to make it a possibility. Unfortunately with standards, the great thing about them is that there are so many to chose from.

Qi (1)

MadLad (1331393) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098241)

Since the word Qi is already used to describe something rather different, it is a pretty idiotic name for this idea. It merely accords with the co-opting of all sorts of Eastern concepts for marketing Western stuffs, in the footsteps of 'Zen' which nowadays stands for just about anything you'd want in a product.

Re:Qi (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099029)

Since the word Qi is already used to describe something rather different

Well, something nonexistent. It's not like people are going to confuse something that is real with something that is fictional.

Re:Qi (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099341)

in the footsteps of 'Zen' which nowadays stands for just about anything you'd want in a product.

As opposed to the original definition, which stands for just about anything you'd want in a philosophy?

Old News (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29098297)

Not exactly a new idea. Tesla did it about 100 years ago. [mind-course.com]

Tesla is spinning in his grave... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098431)

...and generating AC electricity!

Re:Tesla is spinning in his grave... (1)

Mike Zilva (785109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098833)

I'll try some wireless power pad's to put under my Tesla Roadster ;) and on top there will be solar panels, and some wind turbins on both sides:)

how it works (1)

loki_tiwaz (982852) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098499)

My understanding is that this system is based on work by Nikola Tesla who discovered that it was possible to magnetically transmit power using resonance. By this meaning alternating pulses through a tuned coil on both sides at a tuned frequency. The vibrational energy of a guitar string transmits quite efficiently to adjacent strings on a guitar, it stands to reason that, if like in the example of a low resistance wired coil vibrating at a frequency tuned to the length and width of the coil, the loss of energy in transmission would be much lower if the receiver coil was tuned to resonate at the same frequency or a close harmonic (1 or 2 octaves). The only thing that I am unsure of is this theoretical negation of resistance, which I understand is what the whole idea is based on.

As far as safety goes, it would be quite safe. It is magnetism below a certain frequency and the only thing that might get damaged is inadvertently tuned circuits in electronics and possibly it may damage magnetic media that find themselves in the flux lines directly between receiver and transmitter. I believe the way to limit the distance that can be used is purely about current. Conversely the circuit is limited in capacity by this, putting too many loaded receiver circuits in its range will result in an overall diminution of power transfer to all of the devices.

Re:how it works (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099187)

My understanding is that this system is based on work by Nikola Tesla who discovered that it was possible to magnetically transmit power using resonance.

It's also the basis of radio receivers and transformers. Yes, every radio set is also a wireless power receiver, so of course you can transmit power inductively... but it's terribly inefficient.

Re:how it works (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099375)

And of every transformer and of every AC induction motor and of every electric toothbrush's induction charger and of the many death rays Tesla spent his later years working on. And, let's face it, that's why geeks love Tesla. There's something unbelievably cool about someone who:
  1. Works out the principles used for a large subset of modern technology.
  2. Completely fails to market it and goes bankrupt several times (on one occasion because he accidentally destroyed the local power substation with one of his experiments in broadcast power).
  3. In later life, refused to shake hands with anyone for fear of catching a fatal disease and devoted his life to working on death rays.

So... (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098509)

Will Nintendo adopt it? Because I want a Qi Wii. And assemble it in Finland so the factory's website will be QiWii.fi

Re:So... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098963)

And I want to be able to parasitically power other devices from it. Then I'd have a lychee wii qi.

Re:So... (4, Funny)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099457)

Why not New Zealand instead of Finland? Then you could have a Kiwi Qi Wii.

Re:So... (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099693)

Make it edible and you'll have a Chewy Kiwi Qi Wii.

It'll never work (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098525)

While 5 watts isn't much, I just can't see that many people being willing to become a Qigong master just so they can run an AP from their own natural energy. It takes decades of study to reach that level.

Most people these days are far too busy multitasking to even think about the focused mental effort required.

we need a consotium for a magnetic field? (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098841)

Seems kinda overkill to me.

This standard will fail (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 5 years ago | (#29098995)

Just because it has a name that is not intuitively pronounceable. Idiots.

Re:This standard will fail (2, Funny)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099595)

Just because it has a name that is not intuitively pronounceable. Idiots.

Yeah, just like Nintendo's latest console, which flopped because its name was both not intuitively pronounceable. Does anyone even remember the Wii?

Re:This standard will fail (1)

Lershac (240419) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099627)

Uh, Wii IS intuitively pronounceable... Are you phonetically impaired?

Let me be the first to say... (1)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099253)

... QiQiQi ^_^

A solution looking for a problem. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099269)

The best direction to go for a standard recharging interface is probably just to use USB, which is (ahem) universally available and already widely used for this task.

Cooperation first? That is something different (1)

ouder (1080019) | more than 5 years ago | (#29099291)

The thing that interests me is the model they are using. The major players are coming to an agreement on a standard before releasing products. The pattern over the last couple of decades has been for every major player to develop their own proprietary system and then try to force the market to their standard. This more open model is at the root of most successful technologies. Take a look at the TV industry. There was one common standard. Any company with the expertise could build a TV that would work with all commercial TV broadcasts, and broadcasters could send to any manufacturer's TV's. If TV had been invented in the 1990's, I could only watch Sony broadcasts on my Sony TV. The modern PC is another example. The IBM-PC was an inferior design, but it was an open standard; anyone could make parts and software for an IBM-PC. This technology might be boring, environmentally evil, and make us all sterile, but I am still glad to see the way this is being released.

Re:Cooperation first? That is something different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29099695)

TV industry only worked that way because the spec was the signal being broadcast, and that was regulated at the federal level. Anything else the TV manufacturers did within their product was between them and the consumer. If they showed the picture poorly, consumers bought a competing product.

This model is actually pretty standard. Sure, sometimes an innovation is all one company (Betamax, Compact Disc, satellite radio) with the others playing follow-the-leader afterwards. But it seems like most times it's a consortium of industry players -- occasionally you get two different groups working on the same concept, as in Bluray vs HD-DVD, but it seems like most new technologies are hammered into a single standard long before products actually reach consumers. Consider: WiFi, HDMI, SATA, ATSC.

LAZERS!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29099295)

Why don't we just use lazers. Big-ass lazer that tracks your phone around the room beaming energy into it.

Why, it could even be powerful enough to go through a pants pocket, or your leg!

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