New "Pi" wireless charger will top off your phone from up to 12 inches away


Apple's new iPhones might have given a PR boost to the wireless charging approach, but any mobile enthusiast will tell you that the technology has existed for some time. Still, wireless charging has a long way to go before it is perfected. Qi, one of the most widely-used standards of today still requires users to place their device directly on a pad and wait things out until it is charged. 

Of course, there are companies out there who want to shake things up. A new startup called Pi claims to have developed a product that allows for truly contactless wireless charging. Its eponymous cone-shaped charging station is based on the resonant induction technology present in the Qi standard, but it eliminates the need for a charging pad. This is achieved via a beam-forming algorithm which allows the station to control and shape the direction of magnetic fields.

Users will be able to replenish the battery level of their smartphone or tablet by simply placing it within a foot (30 cm) of the Pi station. Up to four devices can be charged at the maximum speed of 10W. Adding more gadgets is possible, but the overall charging speed will slow down as a result. Qi-enabled smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X will be able to work with Pi without any special accessories, but other handsets will require a special Pi-compatible charging case.

It is certainly possible for this technology to be integrated into future smart speakers like Google Home or Amazon Echo, but the company will be introducing a stand-alone product for starters. 

You can expect Pi to hit the shelves at some point in 2018 with a price tag south of $200. However, the charging station is already available for pre-order on Pi's website. The first 314 early adopters will receive a $50 discount code, so feel free to visit this link if you're interested in owning such a device. 

source: Pi via TechCrunch

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18 Comments

1. BuffaloSouce unregistered

If it has a distance of only a foot, I would save $150 and just get a Samsung charging stand

2. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

I'm not into it. Seems like it's gonna give risky health especially to the children.

4. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Magnetic fields aren't dangerous at all, at least not in those low power fields these things create. Otherwise, an MRI would be unsafe as well.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4248; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Safe for the current amount of exposure we get. I dont spend 12 hours beside an active MRI machine to confidently say this isnt affecting cells. Highly doubt this will pass regulations but we will see. I certainly wont be an early adopter.

8. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

So you have no speakers at home (they contain a magnetic field as well) or inductive cooking. Never heard those were harmful either

14. cmdacos

Posts: 4248; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Please set this up by your head. Ill watch the obituaries. Enjoy!

17. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

You won't because it's not deadly.

11. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

I disagree. Every signals do have effect on our body, it's just that the amount we get exposed is controllable. But this Pi charging doesn't seem to be a safe one. Imagine kids playing nearby they get constantly contacted with those signals magnetic fields. It's gonna have some effect.

16. NDKsis

Posts: 14; Member since: May 31, 2017

It IS about the amount. Like you can get burned under strong sunlight, but never under electric light even 24/7. Learn more about the safe amount and you will find this Pi charging, wifi or other everyday magnetic fields are more like the electric light.

18. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not they won't have an effect. Not with a max of 20 watts only nearest to the cone.

19. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

it will have no effect. stop scaremongering.

3. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

BTW did you ban bro Techiexp? What a shameless practice! This page is surely corrupted and controlled by the clown Apple.

6. mynameisPZee

Posts: 31; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

how I wish you were next, its a shame you are still here. This site will be better without you and your likes though that might mean less in ad revenue.

10. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Why? Elaborate your lame comment.

15. cmdacos

Posts: 4248; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Waaaaaah

7. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Getting closer. Wake me at 3-4 feet

9. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

It's gonna be useful once it achieves 5 feet mark where I can have it charge anywhere in my desk and leaning back on my chair, another one them put near the bed. :D

13. Godlymansean

Posts: 337; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

It will be everywhere in the future, and another apple comment on an unrelated article... lol

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