Qualcomm announced today that it has become the first company to launch wireless charging that works on devices with metal casing. WiPower is not only material-agnostic, in that it can technically charge all kinds of devices, but it can do so at a distance and charge multiple devices simultaneously. If it works as Qualcomm says it does, this could be one of the most versatile and easy-to-use wireless charging solutions announced so far.
Qualcomm‘s latest technology solves many frustrations we face in our quest for a wire-free existence. Unlike Qi, you don’t have to be super-specific about where you place your device with WiPower. As long as you place your smartphone within the charge area, it will charge. No alignment required. If you have more than one device within the area, they both charge. What’s more, because it can operate without needing physical contact, you can install it beneath desks to hide the units under the surface.
Based on Near Field Magnetic Resonance technology, WiPower enables greater flexibility and convenience in wireless charging, allowing a wide range of compatible consumer-electronic and handset devices to charge without the need for precise alignment or direct physical contact. Additionally, the technology enables simultaneous charging of multiple devices with different power requirements while using Bluetooth Smart to minimize hardware requirements.
For smartphone makers, this WiPower will enable them to create the devices they want to create out of metal, and not have to worry about the trade-off in wireless charging. Devices like the HTC One M9 and Huawei P8 — just as two examples of many — don’t have the feature built in because, currently, it’s not possible. Metal tends to get in the way and effect performance of technologies like Qi. Qualcomm says that the technologies and designs used to implement WiPower in to products will be available to licensees, suggesting companies will be able to build it in to their own products.
The company put together a short promo video to show off its new product: