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Charge your smartphone from across the room with this bizarre new wireless tech

Xiami Wireless Air Charging
(Image credit: Xiami)

Xiaomi today introduced a new way to charge your smartphone, and all you need to do is put your phone in the same room as the charger thanks to Mi Air Charge Technology. That means no cables or wireless charging stands, just tech wizardry.

Xiami's new tech comes in the form of a charging pile, and a sizeable one at that judging by what we see in its reveal video. It's a white box that's just larger than a couch, and as long as a smartphone user is in its vicinity, it will charge the device.

Right now, the Air Charge tech can do 5-watt remote charging for a single device within a radius of a few metres. Although, multiple devices can also be charged at the same time, with each supported for up to 5 watts.

While Xiaomi is currently designing the system for smartphones, it aims to work with smartwatches and other wearable devices, and in the near future, smart home appliances, including speakers, desk lamps and more. 

True wireless charging: How does it work?

The Air Charge tech is certainly bizarre, but explainable wizardry. The unit itself is an isolated charging pile that has five-phase interference antennas built-in, which in turn, can detect the location of the smart device. Then, a phase control array with 144 antennas transmits waves directly to the phone through beamforming — a way of focusing wireless signals directly to a receiving device.

Xiaomi's smartphone then converts the wave signal from the charging pile into electric energy through a rectifier circuit, all thanks to a miniaturized antenna array with a built-in “beacon antenna.”

Thanks to all that, the Air Charge tech will supposedly still work even if there are obstacles in the way. Regardless, I still like to think of it as the beginnings of The Force.

Xiaomi hasn't provided a launch date or price for the new type of charging tech, but judging by its size and future prospects, we can't imagine it being cheap.