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Wireless charger embedded in Ikea furniture like this lamp stand
 
 
Wireless charging is a reality in India

A decade after the Qi wireless charging standard ,  was announced, it is finally touching us in practical ways
Bangalore, April 2 2018 What do competing mobile phone brands  Apple, Asus,  Google,  Huawei,  LG, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung  have in common?  In their more recent models they have all incorporated a technology called  'Qi' -- from the Chinese word,  pronounced  like 'chee' in  'cheese' and meaning  'energy flow'.
Qi is a standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium,  in 2008.  It defines how low  electric power ( around 5 watts) can be transferred  without wires across gaps of  4 cms or less, using what is known as inductive coupling. In dummies terms this means power can jump between two coils of wire if they are close enough.   
The principle found its first application  in the charging of mobile phones and other portable devices,  eliminating all those messy USB cables and mains chargers that we carry around.   The system  uses a charging pad ( which could be connected the mains). Devices like phones are simply placed on the pad.  The charging pad transfers  energy to the phone or phones wirelessly.  The beauty is, if the pad is large enough you can place multiple phones ( of any make)  on it and charge them at the same time. There is only one requirement: both charging pad and phone must be Qi-compatible.
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Read  our review of Belkin wireless charging pad here
Read our story on the  Toreto  wireless power bank here

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Nokia was the first brand to incorporate Qi in its handsets in 2012 quickly followed by Google-Nexus. Since then the number of Qi-ready brands has risen to about 150. But let's face it, many of use phones that don't incorporate the Qi technology: Are we to be left behind? Not likely! Industry has come up with an elegant solution:  a  Qi patch that you can buy separately on many online sites for Rs 300 - 500. This is  a flat and flexible   item with an adhesive back. You paste it on the back of your phone ( or if device is of the removable battery type, you open the cover and paste it on the battery.  There is a small lead ending with a  micro USB connector  which you insert into the hole in which you normally insert the charging cable of your phone. Your handset is now Qi-enabled and you can use any standard wireless charger.
Wireless charging  options for  Android and iOS device grow by the day. As Qi is incorporated in more and more devices, the familiar wired charging stations you see in  coffee shops airports and railway stations may soon be  replaced by Qi hotspots for charging.   And the new sofa set  or coffee table you buy may soon come embedded with a wireless charging pad. Ikea has already  launched furniture with Qi charging built-in.
Clearly wireless is the way to go!
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Latest: There is news this week that Samsung has  just applied for a patent for
true wireless charging
—  ie it  doesn’t  require the phone to touch the charging
pad.  The  system described in the patent  makes it possible to wirelessly charge a
mobile device even while the owner uses it.
Another  patent  granted to Energous corporation  as early as 2015, doesn't
require the charging pad to be connected to the mains supply by a power cord
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