Gadgets
iQi-wireless-Charger
iQi: Thinest Wireless Charger Ever

Most of us believe wireless charging to be a modern day technology that only a handful of people have access to, but that may not be entirely true. As a matter of fact, some of you would have used wireless charging at your home without even knowing it. Remember the Oral B Rechargeable Toothbrushes in the early 90s? YUP! Wireless charging at its youth.

When you think about the technology that charged up your toothbrush over 20 years ago, and compare it to the technology that charges up your smart devices today, you start noticing one very disappointing fact. The technology has not matured at all. It does today what it did back in the early 90s. Although it may come in a prettier package, it’s still the same as it was two decades ago, with little or no improvement at all. But that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from designing and marketing their ridiculously expensive wireless charging station.

With the rise of smart phones in the past few years, we have come to love wireless chargers. But unless you are a proud owner of a Windows or Android phone that has wireless charging built in, you are pretty much stuck with buying an overpriced charger and adopter that is likely to add some serious bulk to your precious little device. Finally someone took on the challenge of simplifying the wireless charging technology and making it more affordable for the rest of us. Say hi to iQi.

The Product

This is a one of a kind product that has done away with all traditional approaches and techniques for designing a wireless charging station and the receiver. While we don’t see much of an improvement with the charging station, the team has put some serious work into designing the thinest wireless receiver. Measuring at only 0.5 mm thin, it can hide inside your iPhone case and allow you to forget it’s even there. The company is planning to ship the iQi internationally for an extra $15, which I believe is a reasonable price.

Technology is at its very best; is at its most empowering when it simply disappears

Jony Ive

How It Works

Just like all other wireless charging stations, you plug your charging surface/pad into a power plug and then simply place your phone on top of the charger. Of course you want to make sure you have the receiver attached to your phone, otherwise nothing will happen. The receiver connects to your iPhone via a ultra-thin flexible ribbon cable.┬áThis is a very big win for iQi, because you’re very unlikely to ever remove the receiver from your phone as a result of its thin design and light weight.

Pros

  1. Very light, extremely thin
  2. Easy on your wallet at only $20 a pop
  3. Smart design and genius engineering

Cons

  1. Just like all other wireless charging systems, there are still wires involved
  2. Although not tested, iQi is unlikely to work with hard cases as they tend to break the connection between the transmitter and the coil (receiver)
  3. May prove difficult when you needs to dock your device to listen to music (in which case I’m judging you. GET WIRELESS!)
  4. Only supports lighting input (no 30 pin)

Conclusion

This is by far one of the best wireless chargers I’ve seen on the market so far. Although it shares some of the common pitfalls as all other competing products, it makes up for them with its low price, light weight and thin design.

Be careful though, a piece of technology this thin will make your girlfriend jealous, have a bunch of flowers and chocolate ready before you show her your latest toy.

I tweet more than I blog. Press the button below and follow me on twitter.