updated 05:35 pm EDT, Mon July 26, 2010
WPC greenlights wireless power for phones and more
The Wireless Power Consortium in a low-key move has approved the Qi standard for charging devices over the air. Hardware producers can now design devices to use the technology and expect them to work with other Qi equipment. Those in the alliance didn't say when they expected the first devices to reach shops.
Qi uses induction to send power through physical contact but without cables, much like the Touchstone charger option for the Palm Pre and Pixi. It only supports devices that use up to 5W of power but could supply MP3 players, smartphones and most other handhelds with a recharge through a contact plate or a dock.
The WPC includes major phone designers such as Nokia and RIM as well as battery makers and other electronics firms.