Xiaomi is making remote wireless charging a reality with 'Air Charge' tech

Xiaomi Mi Air Charge Technology
Xiaomi Mi Air Charge Technology (Image credit: Xiaomi)

What you need to know

  • Xiaomi has demonstrated a new wireless charging technology that can deliver a 5W charge remotely.
  • The tech can be used to charge smartwatches, fitness bands, IOT gear, and even phones.
  • There's no date for when the Mi Air Charge tech will make its way to consumer devices at this point.

Over the last 18 months, Xiaomi has delivered several breakthroughs in wireless charging. Its Mi 10 flagships featured 30W wireless charging as standard, and the Chinese manufacturer recently showed off an insane 80W charging tech that could end up in its upcoming flagship, the Mi 11 Pro — which has the potential to be one of the best Android phones of 2021.

Xiaomi is now showcasing a remote charging tech (opens in new tab) that delivers a 5W charge "within a radius of several meters," with the brand noting that the charging efficiency won't be reduced even if there are obstacles in the way.

Xiaomi Mi Air Charge Technology

Source: Xiaomi (Image credit: Source: Xiaomi)

Dubbed Mi Air Charge Technology, the remote charging system works the following way:

The core technology of Xiaomi's remote charging lies in space positioning and energy transmission. Xiaomi's self-developed isolated charging pile has five phase interference antennas built in, which can accurately detect the location of the smartphone. A phase control array composed of 144 antennas transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.On the smartphone side, Xiaomi has also developed a miniaturized antenna array with built-in "beacon antenna" and "receiving antenna array". Beacon antenna broadcasts position information with low power consumption.The receiving antenna array composed of 14 antennas converts the millimeter wave signal emitted by the charging pile into electric energy through the rectifier circuit, to turn the sci-fi charging experience into reality.

Xiaomi says the tech can be used with speakers, smartwatches, fitness bands, desk lamps and other smart home devices, but as of now there's no mention of when Mi Air Charge Technology will debut in consumer products. It isn't likely we will see the tech in 2021, but it could make its way to Xiaomi's ecosystem products in the coming years.

Other manufacturers have tried (and failed) to make a remote charging standard, but Xiaomi's advantage is that it has a vast ecosystem of connected products. It can leverage its ecosystem to create a truly remote charging solution, and we'll keep an eye out for more details on Mi Air Charge Technology.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • I remember seeing this technology demonstrated years ago on TV (perhaps the gadget show?) Here in uk. I wonder how it will be accepted by the general public (if it ever gets that far) with many people believing that 5G isn't safe!
  • i might be mistaken but i think this is the first use of mm wave 5g to deliver wireless power. although there have been other technologies to achieve the same goal but they were inefficient at best.
  • I'm pretty sure this is not new technology. Nicola Tesla had plans to do this a while ago.
  • OK, that's still new tech. That Tesla theorized on it doesn't mean Xiaomi's actual implementation isn't impressive or new.
  • It's cool that this can be achieved now with the advancements of technology from over the yrs. It's even more impressive that this guy Nikola Tesla thought of this over 100 yrs ago. Can you imagine if this guy was living in our time what he could achieve?