The iPhone 8 and iPhone X add convenience to charging up thanks to their Qi support, but Pi wants to remove the charging plate so our smartphones only need to be nearby to juice up.
Apple’s wireless Qi-compatible charging system in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X requires a charging pad to set the device on. Once the phone is in contact with the pad it starts charging.
That’s more convenient than plugging in a Lightning cable, but Pi wants charging to be even more convenient. The company is working on a cone-shaped device that sits on your table and charges up any Qi-compatible device that’s within 12-inches.
Pi developed a special beam-forming algorithm that eliminates the need for a charging pad. Their charger cone uses their beam forming system to target every compatible device that’s in range. The idea is that you can set your iPhone anywhere on the table near the cone and recharge its battery.
The Pi team told TechCrunch they’re planning on shipping their contactless charger some time in 2018 for under US$200.