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Motorola claims to have its own version of Xiaomi's Mi Air Charge in the works

Motorola allegedly demos its remote wireless charging system. (Source: YouTube)
Motorola allegedly demos its remote wireless charging system. (Source: YouTube)
Xiaomi has just gone public with its working prototype of groundbreaking over-the-air (or remote) wireless charging. However, it seems Motorola is hot on its heels with its own take on this "Mi Air Charge". A YouTube demonstration appears to show it working with 2 modified smartphones placed at 0.8 and 1 meter away from a single transmitter.

It's 2021, yet here we all are still so dependent on cables and wall-warts to keep our devices on that a few OEMs' decisions to omit them from retail packaging is a major news story. It is only just now that Xiaomi claims to be able to free us from all of our wires with Mi Air Charge, a working prototype of what can be called truly wireless, remote, over-the-air or long-distance charging.

Whichever term becomes the norm, it is an emerging charging standard by which devices such as smartphones or PCs are equipped with receivers to gather energy from transmitters through the empty air. Xiaomi claims that its version works over several meters and connects the two necessary components with millimeter-wave emissions over several meters.

Then again, the company still does not have solid launch or availability information for its new tech. However, it may not be the only OEM working towards this goal. A video of what is claimed as a demo of "Motorola One Hyper" remote charging by the OEM - has emerged on YouTube.

This alleged showcase involves what could be this company's own operational transmitter prototype, apparently capable of charging 2 (presumably modified) Edge-series devices positioned 80 to 100 centimeters away from it, unless an object (including a human hand, as in this case) was placed between them. This system may be capable of charging up to 7 separate devices at once, although the rate at which that happens was not covered here.

This video, should it prove genuine, thus highlights a potentially serious drawback of remote wireless charging. Its reliance on clear space between receiver and transmitter could ultimately render it as finicky as everyday wireless charging can be.

Furthermore, Xiaomi has inadvertently pointed out that its Mi Air Charge is limited to a mere 5 watts (W) in its current generation, whereas wired charging for its phones has reached a maximum of 120W at this point.

Finally, despite the fact that Motorola reportedly views its new "One Hyper" system as "the right way to do wireless charging", it is still no closer to market than is Mi Air Charge.

Meanwhile, various other entities, including the dedicated companies Ossia and Powercast, not to mention the mobile-device OEMs Vivo and Apple, have also been linked with their own long-distance charging projects in the past. One of them could still make true-wireless household-name status long before Xiaomi or Motorola are finally ready to pounce on that title.

"Normal" Mi Wireless Charging Pads: available on Amazon.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Motorola claims to have its own version of Xiaomi's Mi Air Charge in the works
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-01-29 (Update: 2021-01-29)