They say you learn something new every day, well today I learned where Wireless charging was going in the future and here’s a tip – Apple leads the way.

You see I can remember as far back as CES 2012 seeing this Qi branded stall with people talking about wireless charging. Qi turns out to be basically the industry name for the technology that is Wireless Charging as it is applied to consumer electronics like Smartphones.

And it’s a damn fine thing that the whole industry got around one way of doing things, otherwise you’d never have the simple universality and compatability of Wireless Chargers and devices that we have today.

But there are variations on a them – of course. Take for example charging speeds, how fast can your phone take in electricity wirelessly. Apple is famously on the slower side in this case, but it was the iPhone 12 which introduced something very new and different – Apple’s MagSafe charging which really turned things on it’s head.

MagSafe is Qi Wireless charging with the addition of magnets in a circle around the charging location to allow for almost perfect placement of a device – this placement is first and foremost ensuring the most efficient transfer of electricity. While it also had the additional benefit of allowing a phone to sit upright, on it’s side or in ways that we couldn’t do before because now it could be magnetically attached.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, get set for MagSafe style charging on any device. The industry through the Qi standards group is set to launch a new standard – known today as Qi2, but likely to get some cool name (not MagSafe) like MagWirless or something like that.

Belkin today in Berlin were showcasing a couple of products with Qi2 compatibility ready to lead the market ahead with this Wireless and Magnetic partnership that will make charging great for all smartphones.

For the Apple haters, thinking this doesn’t matter – get in a car with a wireless charger and try to charge your phone. It needs to be perfectly placed, and maybe yours works, but what about a smaller phone? Do you put it top in or top out?

Qi2 will mean that smartphones of the future will be able to be placed into a Qi2 compatible wireless charger in a car and the magnetic attachment will ensure not only is the phone charging, but it won’t move when you go around a corner.

The first of the products is a “3-in-1” charging pad. One spot is Qi2 and will magnetically attache the device to charge, then there’s a smaller area where headphones can be placed to charge, and on the side a USB-C port where a cable for any smartwatch could go, or in some variations a small side mounted Apple Watch charger can be part of the package.

For someone who travels a lot of wants to bring their charger with them, the Convertible Qi2 Wireless Pad to Stand allows you to choose to either lay your phone on the flattened pad, or extend the pad upwards to be a stand for your phone to sit on magnetically either in portrait or landscape mode.

I for one welcome our Qi2 overlords, because Apple’s MagSafe is just fantastic.

Both products are expected to be available in Australia in early 2024.

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