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Among the many robots are televisions, electricity and this hair printer At CES, there was a quiet announcement about the next generation of wireless charging for phones and other rechargeable battery devices. Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”) is the successor to Qi wireless charging found in phones like the iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Google Pixel 7.

The next version of Qi promises to be more efficient, thanks in part to magnets that help keep devices in perfect alignment on charging pads. If that sounds familiar, that’s because Apple’s MagSafe charging, which launched with the iPhone 12 in 2020, essentially is. In fact, Apple, one of more than 350 companies that make up the Wireless Power Consortium, helped design the Magnetic Power Profile that is part of Qi2.

Although the Magnetic Power Profile isn’t the same as MagSafe, it could lead to Qi2 adoption in more devices, including AR or VR headsets. It can also lead to faster charging speeds. Currently, Qi wireless charging is rated at 15W, which is also the maximum charging speed for Apple’s MagSafe on iPhones.

Apple’s MagSafe uses Qi wireless charging, but the magnets allow for a variety of accessories.

Patrick Holland/CNET

“Qi2’s perfect alignment improves energy efficiency by reducing power loss that can occur when a phone or charger is misaligned,” said Paul Struchsaker, CEO of the Wireless Power Consortium, in a press release. “Just as importantly, the Qi2 will greatly reduce the landfill waste associated with replacing a wired charger due to broken plugs and the stress placed on wires from daily plugging and unplugging.”

Another advantage of the Qi2 is the accessory potential. Take a look at the number of MagSafe and magnetic accessories currently made for the iPhone. There’s everything from cases and charging stands to tripod mounts and wallets. Android phones that support Qi2 can use similar accessories.

Given that Android phones come in all shapes and sizes, Qi2 and its Magnetic Power Profile can be the equalizer that makes some accessories interchangeable between different phones and even different devices. Qi2 offers a level of ubiquity similar to USB-C connectors, without the confusion caused by different types of USB-C cables that all look the same. It’s hard to tell the difference between a USB-C cable that supports Thunderbolt 3 and one that supports USB 4.

Qi2’s magnetic strength profile is not the same as MagSafe, which also uses magnets but arranged in a different position. So you can’t connect a MagSafe charger to a phone with Qi2. I have to admit that some companies make magnetic cases for Android phones that allow you to work with MagSafe.

MagSafe also contains a microprocessor, missing from Qi2’s Magnetic Power Profile, that lets the iPhone know what it’s connected to. For example, if you remove Apple’s MagSafe wallet from your iPhone, it will mark where it was last attached, and can even send you a notification that it’s detached from the phone. I imagine Android phone manufacturers could add their own microprocessor to the Qi2 for similar functionality.

with EU forces Apple to change future iPhone models From Lightning wired charging to USB-C, Qi2 can also provide Apple’s a road map to portless iPhone which has been talked about for several years. And since Qi2 is a standard, it could help Apple avoid any potential EU action over wireless charging.

Overall, the Qi2 shows a lot of promise. And while it’s unclear whether Apple will replace MagSafe with Qi2’s Magnetic Power Profile, it proves that even competing companies can agree on a standard that benefits us all. Now do it for text messages.


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