Hospitality Industry Sees the Value of Qi Wireless Charging
It’s happened to everyone. You reach the restaurant, bus stop, hotel or aiport gate just as your phone battery is on its last leg. Panic sets in. We call that feeling battery anxiety.
The WPC is working to eliminate that battery anxiety, and earlier this week, Marriott installed Qi-compatible charging stations by Kube Systems in its newly redesigned great room lobbies in 29 U.S. hotel locations, making our goal one step closer to becoming a reality.
This rollout is important for wireless charging because it signals the adoption by the hospitality industry, a move that will help drive other hoteliers and restaurateurs to follow in their footsteps. Marriott recognized the value that wireless charging brings its guests and jumped on the opportunity to differentiate its brand with innovative technology. Marriott technologists worked with Kube Systems to fine-tune the design and they chose Qi because it is the leading and most widely adopted standard.
Wireless charging in hotel environments not only opens the door to unique services only Qi can enable, but also a personalized in-room experience, simplified check-in and marketing for hotel customers. This is a big milestone and a sign of more to come.
With the rollout of Qi in hotels, soon your entire travel experience could be supported by wireless charging, from the bed-side charger, to the car, to the airport, and now to the hotel. With the implementation of wireless charging spots at every touch point in your life and travel, the fear of battery anxiety will be a forgotten worry, since your battery will always be full.
See Marriott’s press release that announces the deployment of Kube Systems and Qi wireless charging here: http://news.marriott.com/2014/10/dont-get-tied-down-by-your-phone-or-tablet-power-cord-marriott-hotels-debuts-wireless-charging-in-gr.html
Power Without Wires: A Practical Look at The State of Wireless Charging Technologies
Last night more than 30 leading brands across multiple industries met in London to discuss the growing need for wireless charging capabilities and solutions. Innovative leaders in retail and manufacturing like IKEA, Nokia, Aircharge, Microsoft and various German car manufacturers shared insights and strategies for wireless charging implementation with attendees at the expanded roundtable event.
WPC member companies that have already experienced wireless charging success and witnessed the growth of Qi, shared their stories, including: ZENS’ recent outfitting of an entire Deloitte building in Amsterdam with Qi chargers at every desk workspace; CE4A’s research and recommendation to its members to install Qi technology for in-car wireless charging capability; furniture companies such as IKEA and C+P Furniture inclusion of Qi technology in their office equipment.
The event was held in London’s Clerkenwell design district, notable for its recent large-scale deployment of Qi in multiple shops and buildings. In addition to sharing best practices of this implementation, Clerkenwell gave a look ahead at what’s to come, and explained the “miniature Qi world,” which is our dream of an always-charged, battery anxiety-free world.
These forward thinking companies joined together to show how innovative ideas with Qi can transform the future of technology. Other topics of discussion included:
- Status and new service opportunities with broad wireless charging adoption
- Real-world installation experiences
- The necessity of interoperability, efficiency and technical advancement in wireless charging
Qi wireless charging goes mainstream
Qi has entered mainstream consumer adoption and quickly solidified its position as market leader. With new Qi installations in airports, public venues, office buildings, restaurants, hotels and cars, the installed base of Qi-enabled wireless charging spots has increased to more than 30 countries and one million locations.
Qi’s success is due to our 200-plus member companies that are fueling exciting innovation of the Qi standard, building unique Qi products and developing Qi-based business services. Our members are driving the accelerated adoption of wireless charging by consumers and businesses around the globe.
With more than 65 Qi-compatible mobile phone models and more than 500 different Qi products, the deployed base and industry commitment to the Qi standard has expanded to 50 million devices, allowing users to experience the utility and convenience of wireless charging and related services.
Take a look at the different places Qi can be found:
- Facebook, Google, Texas Instruments, Verizon and other notable companies have deployed Qi chargers in corporate meeting rooms.
- Described as the most sustainable office building in the world, Deloitte’s state-of-the-art building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has all of its office desks outfitted with Qi wireless chargers from ZENS.
- Nine McDonalds restaurants in Hannover, Germany, recently installed Qi chargers in its tables. McDonalds representative David Ehmann said, “We are happy to provide this innovative technology for our guests with noticeable benefit and free of charge.”
- Toronto’s Kanga Café installed Qi wireless charging in its tables, so patrons can enjoy Australian cuisine while charging without an outlet. Also in Toronto, coffee shops across the city have adopted Qi, including Balzacs, Coffee Bar Inc., Sense Appeal and Thor.
- Technologically-advanced Kitchen 67, based in Michigan, also distinguishes itself with Qi. “Qi brings more business into the restaurant. It’s been a big part of the overall success of Kitchen 67 with the overall technology integration into the entertainment aspect of the guest experience,” said a Kitchen 67 representative.
- Kube Systems recently unveiled a universal charging system featuring Qi, the PowerKube. It later announced a business agreement with Marriott International, Inc., to deliver a premium charging solution that meets the technology needs of guests for its Marriott Hotels brand.
- Verizon has deployed 800 Qi-enabled charging spots at major airports around the U.S. (Also see USA Today’s post about the Verizon charging spots)
- Haier has installed Qi charging locations in the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, with an additional 75 locations planned for deployment in various locations within the next year.
- In Japan, DoCoMo has planted countless Qi chargers in airports and train stations throughout the country.
- Qi has been installed throughout the Clerkenwell design district in London; at France’s Roland Garros stadium (home to the French Open); and is currently being installed in major stadiums and venues in the U.S.
- Qi chargers are offered in various models of Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, General Motors, Lexus and SsangYong vehicles. If your car has wireless charging, it’s Qi ready.
- After a three-year study, the German auto consortium CE4A has recommended Qi for in-car wireless charging in Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen.
PowerbyProxi's resonant and inductive evaluation kit
PowerbyProxi announced the availability of an evaluation kit for transmitters and receivers that work in bioth resonant and inductive mode.
The evaluation kit is compatible with all existing Qi products, receivers as well as transmitters.
Here is a great video that demonstrates the capabilities as well the compatibility with existing Qi products.
Major Milestones for V1.2 Resonant Specification
WPC’s v1.1 specification, supported by the largest ecosystem comprising over 200 member companies, enables the most efficient and cost-effective wireless power solutions based on inductive power, close-coupled technology.
WPC’s Resonant Task Force (RTF) will deliver an extension for WPC v1.1 specification for a best-in-class magnetic resonance technology to address applications that require multi-device charging, increased spatial freedom, increased charging at distance (Z-height), and devices that are designed for different power levels.
The RTF has set high goals for backward compatibility to existing v1.1 specification, efficiency, transmitted power, FOD, thermal design, and other critical parameters. Meeting these goals would result in the most advanced and compelling products addressing a broad set of applications such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, wearables, automotive, and infrastructure.
Members saw significant achievements and progress at WPC’s Leeuwarden meeting in June, last month. After hundreds of combined engineering hours by 5 of the world’s leading companies, here’s what happens with an open standards organization when the best minds in the industry collaborate:
- Q1.1 receivers based on inductive v1.1 specification and charging at a Z-height of 7 mm, are now capable being charged at a Z-height of 30 mm
- New magnetic resonance v1.2 receivers can now be charged at Z-height of 45mm, expecting further Z-Height in final production designs
- Backward compatibility between Qi v1.1 and Qi 1.2 systems (v1.1 receivers charging on v1.2 transmitters, v1.2 receivers charging on v1.1 transmitters), allowing consumers protection of investment
- Multi-device V1.2 Receivers charging on a v1.2 transmitter with one inverter, delivering lowest cost designs
Figure 1 - Multiple manufacturers demonstrating Qi1.1 and Qi1.2 resonant systems
Figure 2 - LG v1.2 resonant Tx's delivering power to v1.1 inductive Rx and v1.2 resonant Rx
Figure 3 - LG resonant Tx delivering power to PowerbyProxi resonant Rx
Figure 4 - Philips resonant Tx delivering power to PowerbyProxi resonant RX at distance of 45mm Z height
Figure 5 - Convenient Power Tx delivering power to PowerbyProxi resonant RX at distance of 18mm Z height
The plug-fest was festive indeed!
The WPC is an open standards organization enabling the use the best ideas from any company. That’s why Qi sets the standard for wireless power transfer.
Chairman of the Resonance Taskforce
Message from our CTO, Yongcheol Park
Members and followers of the Wireless Power Consortium,
It is my honor to be nominated and appointed to the position of Chief Technology Officer of the Wireless Power Consortium. This is an exciting time for the WPC and significant advances are being made across many of the working groups. These advances show the true potential and value of an evolving and interoperable standard, which is precisely what we have in Qi.
I will work closely with the joint chairs of the Low Power Work Group, Medium Power Work Group, Resonance Task Force and Compliance and Compatibility Test Group to foster collaborative working group relationships and ensure technical progress is shared. As the global wireless charging leader, it will be my role to ensure that this tremendous momentum is continued through technical advances and new innovations.
Wireless charging is a better way of charging, and I look forward to playing a role in the WPC’s mission to establish a global standard that will make all wireless chargers compatible with all phones and other battery operated products.
[Read more about the role of our CTO in this announcement]
Reliability of Alzheimer's Patients GPS tracker
Qi improves the reliability of Alzheimer's Patient GPS tracker
GPS trackers alert caregivers the instant a patient with special needs wanders outside of their home and allows patients to call for help when they feel lost.
This technology works well provided the patient keeps the GPS tracker fully charged. That is a challenge for all users but particularly difficult for these patients.
The Dutch service provider LiveSafe provides a mobile alarm device which is activated by pressing the alarm button. Within a few seconds contact is made with the alarm centre. If the user is no longer able to press the button himself, the mobile alarm device automatically contacts the alarm centre via the so-called “fall alarm”. The alarm centre agent has access to the user’s records and knows exactly who is calling, where the person is at that moment and what their most important personal and medical details are, so that the right help can be provided.
LiveSafe makes it easier to keep the GPS tracker charged by providing a wireless charging solution. In cooperation with ZENS, the wireless charger serves as place to store the GPS tracker overnight, without need to plug in wires.
200th member: Aircharge by Ergo
Aircharge by Ergo is the 200th Member of the Wireless Power Consortium
We’re excited to announce that Aircharge, a division of Ergo, has recently joined the Wireless Power Consortium. Their new membership marks the 200th member milestone of the WPC.
I had the opportunity to ask Steve Liquorish, CEO at Aircharge-Ergo, a couple of questions about why they decided to join the WPC and support the Qi standard.
Here’s what Steve had to say:
Why did your company choose to join the Wireless Power Consortium?
We are a lead supplier and manufacturer of ergonomic office furniture, products and LED lighting. For the past year, we’ve been looking to integrate wireless charging capabilities into our products in order to take them to the next level and offer the best user experience to our customers. We decided to join the WPC because Qi is taking the lead as the global standard for wireless charging, and we were ready to move forward with our wireless power design roadmap pretty aggressively.
Big players in the industry are embracing Qi, including the committee of automobile manufacturers, CE4A, which includes Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen. With the products that we develop, we believe that the Qi solution fits nicely with our roadmap. And as Qi continues to be built into an increasing number of mobile devices, we have a big role to play in helping to build out the infrastructure to enable consumers to use this technology wherever they go.
What’s your take on the future of wireless power and where do you see the industry heading?
From our perspective, we see the whole wireless charging ecosystem rolling out over the next few years. We envision consumers having various charging areas around their community where they can charge their phone on-the-go, wherever they are. While this is an emerging process at the moment, it is clear that the convenience of charging your mobile device while at home, in the car, or in your office is important to consumers. As we become increasingly dependent on mobile devices, our innovative products will help make drained batteries a thing of the past.
We’re excited to see the innovative products Aircharge will bring to the wireless charging community. Welcome, Aircharge!
Element14 Challenge: Wireless Power Beyond the Phone
Element14 Wireless Power Challenge "Beyond the Phone"
Wireless Power Transfer Solution To Go
Integrating wireless power in devices is an easy task for anyone, if they have the right tools available. On the mechanical side there are some challenges, but on the electronic side, there are tools.
Texas Instruments and Würth Elektronik have put together a plug and play solution which demonstrates the benefits of wireless power transfer. This kit can be used as a full-featured development platform right out of the box! You can immediately connect the receiver to the power management (2 wires) of your device and wireless power comes to life. The kit offers a variety of programmable parameters to set your wireless power transfer requirements.
Wireless Power Transfer Solution To Go provides the following benefits:
- Plug & Play 5W Wireless Power Transfer Demonstration
- Complete demo boards for fast integration of Wireless Power into your product design without any problems
- Meets the Qi Standard of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC)
- Use of optimized components
"Beyond the Phone" Wireless Power Challenge
To further increase the awareness and knowledge for wireless power, element14 (Farnell) started a collaboration with Texas Instruments and Würth Elektronik aptly named "Beyond the Phone" Challenge, which is their second design competition utilizing Wireless Power.
The finalists will be given the task of incorporating wireless power into their daily lives to provide solutions which go beyond the phone and which draw the day closer, when wireless power will be embedded everywhere.
Details at http://www.element14.com/community/groups/wireless-power-solution
New Toyota models with Qi chargers