Xiaomi introduces first over-the-air charging system called Mi Air Charge

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Xiaomi aims for a truly wireless future with the Mi Air Charge system, which is capable of charging multiple devices wirelessly from a distance.

Traditional wireless chargers still need to be attached to a power source, be it a battery pack or outlet. The latest technology from Xiaomi, on the other hand, uses radio waves to charge a device over the air — truly without wires.

Xiaomi announced its new Mi Air Charge technology on Friday. The system uses a base station with 144 antennas broadcasting a charging signal to compatible devices.

Xiaomi says that a smartphone with a receiving antenna array can connect to the charging point "within a radius of several meters." The company says that users can move about the room and have objects between the devices without interrupting charging.

A millimeter-wave signal is broadcasted directly to the device via beamforming with a beacon antenna. The device can charge multiple phones at 5W of power each.

Xiaomi hopes to use this technology in smart watches, speakers, and other appliances so that future devices no longer need a power cable at all. They imagine a world where everything in the room is truly wireless.

This isn't the first we've heard of "truly wireless" charging. Apple was previously rumored to be partnered with Energous, an over-the-air charging company, but the rumors never panned out. Although are no current rumors of Apple using distance wireless charging technology, previous rumors began as the Energous CEO said they had partnered with a "tier one company". At the time, it was implied to be Apple.

A future iPhone could implement such a technology as the company is said to be moving away from charging ports entirely. However, Apple tends to wait until new technologies are improved before considering them.