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Energizer’s Inductive Charger: Qi Makes Its Debut

A couple of weeks ago, Ed was impressed by a demo of Energizer’s new Inductive Charger, which lets you charge phones by plopping them on a mat rather than plugging in a cable. The gadget’s about to go on sale in Target stores; Energizer loaned me a unit to try, and I’m impressed, too.

Actually, what I’m impressed by is the fact that Energizer’s system is based on Qi, a new standard for inductive charging. Earlier inductive setups such as Powermat are based on proprietary implementations–you have to buy the mat and the sleeves and replacement battery covers from the same company, and if no support if offered for your phone, you’re out of luck. By supporting Qi, Energizer’s mat will work with any Qi sleeve or battery cover. Eventually, if all goes according to plans, there will be phones with Qi support built right in, and the standard will work with other mobile gizmos such as cameras.

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Energizer Sides With Qi, Looks Like a Winner

Inductive charging is increasingly gaining traction, and several companies have stepped forward to attempt to stake their position in the expanding market. Energizer has debuted its entrant, using technology from the Wireless Power Consortium called Qi (pronounced “chee”). From what I’ve seen and gathered, it looks like the company has the upper hand on its competitor.

Duracell also has its own option, called “MyGrid,” but it requires a an attachment or case to be attached to the device. The difference with Qi is that the technology would be built into the devices itself, and could charge any device requiring less that five watts of power.

Representatives from Energizer tell me that they expect Qi-equipped mobile phones to hit the market as soon as this holiday season. Of course, there’s going to be your holdouts — Apple the most high profile (shocking right). For those there would be cases much like previous solutions. But the aim here is for true wireless charging without any attachments.

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