The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has announced a new unified wireless charging standard called Qi2 (pronounced “chee two”). Meant to unify the industry under one global standard, it will be replacing the Qi wireless charging standard that has been around since 2008.
Interestingly enough, the new successor is being developed with a helping hand from Apple as Qi2 is based on the company’s MagSafe technology. A member of WPC itself, the Cupertino giant is also working together with other members to develop the new Magnetic Power Profile as the core of the standard.
WPC claims that among the advantages of Qi2 will be improved energy efficiency, faster charging time, and of course, making sure the charging devices are perfectly aligned with the products using magnets. “Our standard assures consumers that their devices are safe, efficient, and interoperable with other brands. Qi2 will be the global standard for wireless charging and provide consumers and retailers with that assurance,” said Paul Struhsaker, executive director of the consortium.
Struhsaker also said that the improved efficiency and interoperability will “pave the way” for future increases in wireless charging speeds without shortening the battery life or damaging people’s phones, though he did not detail any potential speed caps for Qi2. Notably, Apple was able to increase the charging speed of its existing MagSafe Battery Pack last year through a firmware update.
Products equipped with Qi2 are expected to start hitting the market come 2023’s holiday season. WPC said that the rapidly expanding market for products with wireless charging encompasses about one billion devices worldwide, but it will be interesting to see just how fast major brands will adopt the standard for its products. While it’s based on the same technology as MagSafe, it’s not known for now if devices with Qi2 will be able to use MagSafe accessories.