The Qi wireless charging standard has been around since 2008, when a group of innovative companies formed the Wireless Power Consortium. The WPC quickly understood that businesses and consumers needed a simple, open wireless power standard to deliver affordable and quality products.
Like all new standards such as WiFi or USB, it has taken some time for a leading wireless charging standard to emerge, but that time has finally arrived. During the recent 2015 CES Show in Las Vegas, it was clear that the WPC’s original vision for a safe, simple and highly efficient wireless charging standard for the masses is becoming a reality.
Consider these facts:
• 200 WPC member companies in 20 countries now offer Qi products
• There are now more than 600 Qi certified products
• More than 50 million Qi devices are already in the market
• Over 70 smartphones from top handset manufacturers use Qi
• There are now 15 models of cars on roads around the world that have integrated Qi charging
These facts were brought to life at CES, where companies from a huge spectrum of industries showed eager consumers an array of useful Qi products that cut the last cord and eliminate battery anxiety in just about any location.
Automaker Audi, for instance, demonstrated a functioning Qi-enabled center console charger for its automobiles at CES. Audi is a member of the German auto consortium CE4A, which includes BMW, Daimler, Porsche and VW, which has already chosen Qi as the de facto wireless charging standard.
Qi is also powering up the fast-food experience with the agreement between WPC member Aircharge and McDonald’s UK to add 600 wireless charging hotspots to more than 50 McDonald’s restaurants in and around London.
The visitor questions at this year’s WPC CES booth were another reflection of just how far Qi has come. While a basic education was in order in previous years, many people this year had a good understanding of Qi’s progress and saw it in action as both a closely coupled and loosely coupled system. Our demonstrations in the Qi Café and the Qi Hotel provided a glimpse into the reality of how Qi is being rolled out in public spaces, office buildings, restaurants and hotels.
While people sift through the standards debate and “FUD” by other market players, WPC members have remained focused on delivering innovative, real-world wireless charging solutions with Qi: products that work, continue to gain adoption and evolve to meet future demand and real-world applications.
Clearly, Qi is already a robust, proven standard with a great deal to offer to technology developers, businesses and consumers. It was evident at CES 2015, where many Qi products were announced from companies like Belkin, Toshiba, TYLT, Verizon and others. Manufacturers and consumers can feel confident that the Qi wireless power ecosystem is gaining the critical mass it needs. I look forward to witnessing and sharing more examples of this momentum in the coming months with Mobile World Congress 2015 and with numerous milestones to follow.