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The 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Prius will offer in-vehicle Qi wireless charging

on May 16, 2013 8:07 am

qi-jeep

If you’ve been keeping up with my recent gadget diary posts, you’ll know that I’ve been interested in wirelessly charging my Samsung Galaxy S3. After a couple different cradles and a custom ROM, I’m happily charging without wires using the Qi wireless charging standard. That’s why my interest was piqued when I heard the news that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Prius will be offering Qi wireless charging cradles built into these new vehicle models.

The Qi standard for wireless charging is the only wireless charging standard in cars today and more are expected in the near future. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Droid DNA and many others have Qi compatibility. With Qi’s installed base growing, car companies increasingly are interested in offering Qi charging in their cars so drivers can finally get rid of their charging cords.

Before someone points out the fact that the image above shows an iPhone, and iPhones do NOT have Qi charging capability, I know this. This is the image the Qi people sent me that is supposed to be from the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Maybe it means wireless charging will be built in to the iPhone 6 :) Full press release after the jump.

2014 JEEP® CHEROKEE AND TOYOTA PRIUS JOIN THE FAST GROWING QI WIRELESS CHARGING ECOSYSTEM

In-Vehicle Qi Wireless Charging  Now Available in Toyota Avalon,Toyota Prius, has been announced as an available feature in the 2014 Jeep® Cherokee, and in the Ssangyong Chairman

PISCATAWAY, NJ – May 1, 2013 – The 2014 Jeep® Cherokee and Toyota Prius will offer in-vehicle Qi wireless charging, joining a growing list of automobiles equipped with the Wireless Power Consortium’s (WPC) Qi wireless charging standard.

The Jeep Cherokee will offer a factory installed Qi wireless charging pad later this year. The optional feature — located in the center console — featuring technology developed by Leggett & Platt, is part of the optional Uconnect 8.4 package. To charge a Qi-compatible device, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC Droid DNA, or Nokia Lumia 920, customers simply place it in the middle console to power up.

The Toyota Prius is available with a specially designed console tray designed by Japanese auto component manufacturer Denso that fits the exact specifications of the Prius. The dealer-installed charger uses jointly developed technology from PLDS and ConvenientPower that lets consumers charge any smartphone supporting the Qi standard by simply placing the phone on the charger.

“The Qi ecosystem now includes over 180 products and Qi is the only wireless power solution directly integrated into flagship smartphones and automobiles,” said Stefan Graf, Director of Marketing & New Technologies of PLDS, a WPC member company. “As the number of Qi-enabled devices continues to grow, consumers want to be able to charge their phones wirelessly everywhere they go, especially in their automobile. Within the next year, we are going to see many more automobiles throughout the US, Asia Pacific, and Europe with really exciting Qi wireless charging capabilities.”

Qi is backed by more than 130 leading companies of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) like Blackberry, ConvenientPower, Energizer, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Verizon Wireless.

Qi is the global standard for wireless power and cuts the last remaining cord in consumer electronics – the charging cord. With Qi, any Qi-enabled device can be charged by placing them on – or near – any Qi-enabled surface or charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer.

“Automobile integration is a critical aspect of a wireless charging ecosystem,” said Michael Morgan of ABI Research. “Now that Qi is being offered as an out of the box feature on some of the newest smartphones, automobile companies see an expanding installed base of users and are very interested in leveraging that with increased Qi integration into their new car models. Qi has made some impressive gains in the automotive space this year.”

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Prius join the rapidly expanding Qi ecosystem of mobile devices, charging accessories, charging locations, and automobiles, making it possible for consumers to charge their devices wherever they go. The 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited, which includes integrated Qi wireless charging in the center console, is already in production and for sale today. Recently, Korean automaker Ssangyong announced that the WPC’s Qi technology will be in the interior console of its Chairman model and a key feature in all Ssangyong’s future vehicles.

In addition to factory and dealer installed options, many aftermarket automotive Qi products are on sale today, including the Nokia NFC Qi Wireless Charging Car Holder and the Audiovox Aftermarket Qi Charger designed by PLDS.

Qi is an open, fully flexible standard capable of evolving its technology and features to offer the best user experience while maintaining compatibility with all products that have the Qi logo. It offers the widest range of features to optimize user convenience and product choices:  support for both inductive and resonant charging, spatial freedom, and intelligent power management.

For more information, visit: www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com

About Qi and the Wireless Power Consortium

Established in December 2008, the Wireless Power Consortium’s mission is to establish Qi as the global standard for wirelessly charging electronic products. The more than 130 members of WPC include industry leaders in mobile phones, consumer electronics, batteries, semiconductors, components, wireless power technology and infrastructure such as wireless operators, furniture and automotive parts companies. Qi products are available in the United States, Asia Pacific, and Europe.

Comments

  1. 1
    RainyDayInterns says:

    For wireless charging to become ubiquitous, the device/battery and the charger will have to communicate somehow so that we don’t end up with a host of DIFFERENT wireless chargers…each for a different device.

    Otherwise, all that would have been eliminated is the $0.05 wire and not the one charger/one device problem we all face today.

  2. 2

    @RainyDayInterns Isn’t that the point of using Qi, instead of a manufacturer specific charger? “With Qi, any Qi-enabled device can be charged by placing them on – or near – any Qi-enabled surface or charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer.”

  3. 3
    Julie says:

    @Rob exactly… Once more phones have the Qi receiver built in or there are replacement back covers, they can charge with any Qi charger. As an example, I’m charging my SGS3 with Samsung’s OEM wireless charging back cover and a Nokia Qi charger. I like it so much that I want a 2nd Nokia DT-910 charger for work, but at $60+ each, I’ve dragged my feet on a 2nd purchase…

  4. 4
    RainyDayInterns says:

    Not all devices have batteries with the same specs (voltage/ampere). The AC/DC adapters we all have now are specifically designed to output the correct voltage and current for the matched device.

    Some aftermarket universal chargers have a sliding switch which enables it to output a variety of voltages and currents. So…the question is still…how does the charger know what a given device’s battery needs?

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