Qi at the University of Oregon
CP Furniture Systems, Inc. Brings Qi Wireless Charging to the University of Oregon
Guest blog by Oliver Kapp, National Sales Manager, CP Furniture Systems, Inc.
The University of Oregon and CP Furniture Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of C+P Moebelsysteme GmbH & Co KG of Germany – one of Europe’s leading furniture manufacturers – recently partnered to design a unique and innovative locker system for use by its football team’s athletes and coaches in their brand new facilities. This past August was the grand opening of the locker room.
Oregon wanted a facility that was unique, innovative, and something that hadn’t been done before. They collaborated with CP due to the company’s capabilities to drive the technology concept of their locker room space. Only CP could offer a complete custom option for the University that included a steel frame, printed corian doors, stainless steel shelving, electrification, wireless charging, among many different options. Upon seeing CP’s manufacturing capabilities, the architect and owner’s representative were very impressed and chose to go forward.
One of the coolest amenities offered with the lockers are the electronic components. CP partnered with the Wireless Power Consortium to integrate wireless charging into the locker shelves that allow the athletes and coaches to recharge their mobile devices without the need to plug them in. The Qi wireless charging modules, using Leggett & Platt technology who is also a member of the WPC, are embedded and built directly into the shelves allowing for seamless and easy charging of mobile devices. There are more than 60 Qi-enabled devices that offer the best user experience, which is why consumers love using Qi. The wireless charging is in addition to integrated standard outlets and USB chargers.
This locker room also has everything from padded floors, lounges, and even gaming stations for the athletes to kick back and relax. The lockers themselves feature ventilated structures to eliminate odors, bacteria-resistant surfaces, as well as a central online locking system with customized touch pads, which show Oregon graphics, the player’s picture, name and number. This locking system can also be serviced remotely.
The wireless charging capabilities are a unique feature and something that can be customized and incorporated into any locker room system. It is not only unique to lockers. CP incorporates it into desks, workstations, conferencing, lounge and meeting furniture. Check out some pictures below. CP is always on the forefront of integrating new and existing technologies into their furniture. Their newest creation is the Cegano SmartTable where wireless screen mirroring of many different platforms meets stylish conferencing furniture. Recently, CP won the Gold Award at Best of Neocon in 2013 for this table in the technology category.
Qi charger for aviation use
Aviation Modification Leaders, Inc. (AML), a specialist in airborne Wi-Fi connectivity, has added a wireless charger to its portfolio.
This wireless charger is Qi compatible and meets aviation requirements for EMC and EMI.
It was developed in cooperation with Leggett & Platt.
Disappointing coffee shop wireless-charging experience
The convenience of wireless charging is obvious at home and in the car. Many people write about their experience with wireless-charging at home. Typical reactions include:
- “Now I have it, I wouldn't be without it. I've put charging pads in the two offices I work in regularly, and by my bed.”
- “I have three Qi wireless charging pads at home and in the office, and find it much more convenient to just set down a device on the pad rather than messing around with a USB cable and figuring out which end is up to plug it in.”
- “I will admit to believing it was a gimmick at first. Six months later, it is a necessity. I love the wireless features, and would never buy another phone without it.”
More of these statements can be found here.
Public wireless charging services are available in Japan (many coffee shops), Europe (some McDonalds and some coffee shops), and in the USA (some coffee shops). So how does the wireless charging experience differ in public spaces?
Clearly, it’s convenient to charge your phone simply by putting it on the table rather than plugging into a power outlet; provided you have a phone or tablet that supports wireless charging, of course.
There are, however, a few limitations specific to charging in a public place like a coffee shop, especially when comparing the service to WiFi.
A coffee shop will have only a few wireless charging spots at first
Coffee shops like Starbucks have mostly free-standing tables; wireless chargers cannot be integrated into free standing tables without running loose power lines over the shop floor. That limits the number of possible locations for wireless charger to the one or two tables that are fixed to the wall or shop window.
The consequence is that you, as the customer, cannot rely on the availability of a wireless charging spot. You are out of luck if someone else is sitting at the one and only table with wireless charging built in.
WiFi service is very different in this aspect. A WiFi service is available at all tables, everywhere in the store.
This limitation does not apply at home, in the office or while driving. The typical wireless-charging user has two or three charging spots available right where they need them.
You cannot easily use your phone or tablet while charging wirelessly
Browsing the web and reading emails is not convenient when your phone is sitting on a charging pad, so charging time cannot be shared with those activities. Again, the WiFi service is very different in this aspect. WiFi also works when you are holding the phone and while moving around.
This limitation does not have the same impact at home, or while driving. You use your phone differently while driving: you make hands-free calls, or use it as navigation tool, but holding your phone while driving is not a great idea. And at home you typically charge while sleeping, or while your phone is docked in an audio speaker, like the models offered by JBL or TDK.
The benefits of wireless charging are obvious at home and while driving
Wireless charging is more convenient than wired charging. That is obvious in any location, but especially obvious when charging at home, in the office, and while driving. When travelling most users will carry a wired charger anyway, and continue to plug in one of the many mains outlets that coffee shops so conveniently offer next to these comfortable reclining sofas.
The public wireless charging infrastructure needs distinctive user benefits to prosper
The true convenience of wireless power will be realized when we can use it in all locations – home, office, car, and also in public places. We can make adoption in public spaces successful by offering users a charging experience that is better than what they get when plugging in their wired chargers. We can offer that superior experience by paying attention to how people charge today in those public spaces.
Qualcomm Inc. and Verizon Wireless have joined the board of the Wireless Power Consortium.
Qualcomm, Verizon join board of management of the WPC
The WPC is managed by the 24 companies that are a so-called “regular member” of the WPC. Each regular member has one vote in the board of management. Each regular member has same rights and obligations. There are no companies with special voting rights or other perks.
The board of management of the WPC (also called the “steering group”) includes many companies from the mobile phone industry such as HTC, LG Electronics, Nokia, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sony, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Verizon Wireless. You can find the complete list of regular members on our website.
The mobile phone industry thrives on open standards that allow competitors equal say in the creation and evolution of key wireless technologies. Take for example 3G, LTE, Bluetooth, and WiFi: all these standards were created by standards development organizations that allow competitors a seat at the table where decisions are made.
The Wireless Power Consortium is committed to the open development of Qi. We encourage competitors to join and we create the conditions in which standards developments is fast and fair. The WPC creates the level playing field that makes it easier for members to invest in R&D and the result is more choice for consumers.
You can see the result:
a) The Qi ecosystem offers the best user experience for mobile phone users
The Qi ecosystem offers unrivaled choice of over 330 devices such as the Google Nexus 7 tablet and smartphones like the Blackberry Z30, Droid MAXX by Motorola, DROID MINI by Motorola, Samsung Galaxy S4, Nokia Lumia 1020, and Google Nexus 4. Qi devices are sold by mobile carriers worldwide including AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, E-Plus, NTT DoCoMo, O2, Sprint, T-Mobile, Telefónica, and Verizon Wireless. A wide variety of Qi wireless charging products is available through Amazon.com and other on-line retailers.
b) The Qi ecosystem is growing fast
Membership in the WPC is up 28% in the last 6 months and over 170 companies now back Qi, including industry leaders such as Hon Hai Precision, also known as Foxconn, and innovative startups such as Devant Technologies.
c) Qi is used to charge devices in more places than any other wireless charging solution
Qi was recently selected as the in-car wireless charging standard by a standards association representing Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has announced it will be introducing Qi-compatibility in its cars starting in 2014. Mercedes joins the Jeep Cherokee, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Prius, and SsangYong Chairman, which all currently feature Qi.
Mercedes-Benz introduces Qi wireless charging
Mercedes-Benz introduces Qi wireless charging
As from next year, Mercedes-Benz is to fit out its vehicles with wireless charging technology. The magic word is "Qi".
Following the announcement of the CE4A on September 3, Mercedes-Benz announced on September 6 that they will act on the CE4A's recommendation and introduce Qi wireless charging in their consumer vehicles.
Daimler's website has more about Mercedes-Benz' announcement and their reasons for chosing Qi.
Automotive Industry selects Qi
The CE4A is a initiative of the automotive industry that aims to standardize interface between vehicles and consumer electronics products, such as smartphones.
Their expert group on standard connectors selects and defines physical and logical connectivity solutions to CE devices that can be commonly used in automobiles produced by CE4A members. Agreeing on standards is essential for the automotive industry because vehicle development times are long, they need reliable solutions, and each individual company has to avoid investing in a technology that turns out to be a dead end.
By choosing the same technology they avoid battles over standards that don’t create value for their customers and for their own company.
This experts group studied has observed and examined the development of various charging standards since 2010. The CE4A's observations, discussions, and workshops focused on, among others, Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) with its Qi standard.
CE4A generated requirements that must be fulfilled for use in automobiles. These relate to installation space, usage profiles, electromagnetic compatibility, and safety, for example. In addition, the standard must be ready for future requirements and offer potential for further development and commercialization as well as have global distribution and the acceptance of handset makers and wireless providers.
Based on these considerations, CE4A recommended its members to use the Qi standard in current and future vehicle models.
This announcement from the CE4A demonstrates that Qi is suitable for automotive use and that the automotive OEMs have confidence that Qi-compliant products will continue to be used for a very long time.
Users describe their experience with wireless charging.
Hands-on with Qi
Qi delivers a great user experience, not only in theory but in real life. Read what these users experienced:
"Now I have it, I wouldn't be without it. I've put charging pads in the two offices I work in regularly, and by my bed. In combination with NFC tags to set a profile in each place, they really improve the usability of a smartphone, so much so that both capabilities will be non-negotiable requirements for my next phone." - Geoff Cambell in a comment on an article in The Register.
"Nokia spoiled me with wireless charging in the Lumia 920 and now I want that in all of my devices. I have three Qi wireless charging pads at home and in the office and find it much more convenient to just set down a device on the pad rather than messing around with a microUSB cable and figuring out which end is up to plug it in." - Matthew Miller on ZDnet, explaining Seven reasons to buy the new Google Nexus 7.
"I’m pleased with the wireless charging accessory, it works like it’s supposed to, and wireless charging definitely is an added convenience after you’ve used it for a while. [...] Of course the nice thing about Qi is that after you have the cover, you can always shop around for a pad that suits you." - Brian Klug on AnandTech
"I considered wireless charging a gimmick until I picked up a wireless charging stand. After using it for a short period, I bought another one, they're pretty damn awesome especially if you pick the phone up and put it down often." - User #159443 at Whirlpool Forums
"I will admit to believing it was a gimmick at first. 6 months later, it is a necessity. I love the wireless features, and would never buy another phone without it." - Mikado_Wu commenting on an article about the JBL Power Up
"If you've got a couple of Qi chargers you really, really do appreciate the convenience. And the Qi standard is now winning critical support, Samsung will support it in the S4, and so it looks like being the VHS rather than the Betamax of the wireless charging wars." - Andrew Orlowski, The Register
"To be honest plugging a cord into a phone once every day or two isn't exactly a trying task so at a glance wireless charging sounded more of a novelty than a necessary technology but how wrong could I be! The action of just putting your phone down on to the charging plate as you would put your phone on the coffee table/kitchen bench/desk is a no brainer, it's not some sci-fi mumbo jumbo, it is a logical solution to an existing problem." - Wade, TelecomTech blog (geekzone.co.nz)
"I’m becoming a huge fan. Getting the micro-USB plug into most phones is a pain particularly when I’m tired and just want to go to bed. The number of times I’ve awakened to a dead phone because I didn’t push the plug in all the way is embarrassingly large as a result. With inductive charging [...] you just set the phone down on the charger and walk away finding the phone fully charged when you wake up. It may seem like a little thing but it was a nightly annoyance to get that damned plug in the right way in a dark room and not having to do that is almost worth this phone alone." - Rob Enderle, TG Daily
"The [HTC Droid] DNA features Qi wireless charging technology. The phone began charging within a couple of seconds after being placed on the Nokia Lumia 920's charging pad." - Sherri L. Smith, Laptop Mag
"Once you have a wireless charger around, then using it becomes second nature, you top-up more often than you would. It’s one tiny hassle removed from the day. The phone doesn’t need to be carefully aligned with the plate, so you just plunk it down and let it charge. Which it does fairly rapidly; there is a speed penalty to wireless charging but it’s surprisingly light: wireless power-ups are around 10 to 20 per cent slower than direct charging, I found." - Andrew Orlowski, The Register
"[Wireless charging] is not a must have, but once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it." Michelle Maisto, eWeek
"We're big fans of the wireless charging ability, as it puts an end to fumbling around in the dark for a cable and then taking 20 attempts to finally get it plugged in – popping the Lumia 920 down on its plate is just a more pleasing experience." John McCann, Tech Radar
“The [Google] Nexus 4 also fully supports the Qi wireless charging standard, which means you can use any Qi-capable charging pad to refill your battery -- we even took it for a spin on the Fatboy recharging pillow sold by Nokia, and it worked like a charm.” - Brad Molen, Engadget
“The convenience of simply dropping the Nokia Lumia 920 on the Fatboy pillow is great. I have it sitting on my desk so when I am there the Lumia 920 is charging up which can lead to it being charged up more often.” Mattew Miller, ZDNet
"We managed to hold the Nokia Lumia 820 a good inch off the charging plate and for it to still be getting a charge through, which shows how efficient the charging plate is.” Mike Brown, NokNok
How to power a ring-clock: Qi
The designers could not fit a replaceable battery, so they went for a rechargeable battery.
The designers could not fit a USB connector, so they went for wireless charging. Qi of course!
161 members and 312 certified products
Membership of the Wireless Power Consortium is steadily growing. We are now at 161 members.
The members have registered 312 Qi-compliant products in the Certified Product Database.
Wireless charging in Uganda
Qi wireless charging is finding it's way to people everywhere through the promotion of Qi-capable smartphones.
Nokia, for example, promotes their Lumia range world wide. Here you can see Lumia advertised in Kampala.