Wireless Air Charging – that’s what Oppo has named its upcoming charging technology which they unveiled at MWC Shanghai, which can virtually charge the Oppo X 2021 sans wires but through the air. This is the next step in smartphone charging, and could also be applied to other wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.

  • Oppo shows off their Oppo X 2021 concept smartphone at MWC 2021 in Shanghai
  • Wireless Air Charging charges smartphones without direct contact
  • Charges at speed of up to 7.5 watts

Chinese manufacturers do seem to be on a roll at the moment, offering new devices and innovations one after another at the Mobile World Congress that is held in Shanghai (as opposed to Barcelona in the years past), and Oppo is no exception. The company showed off (yet again) its Oppo X 2021 concept smartphone, which we all know features a roll-out display.

Even though the Oppo X 2021’s display that does seem to elongate magically is a real eye-catcher, the focus today is not on the display but the wireless charging capability.

Next generation wireless charging

Wireless charging has continued to mature over the years, but wireless charging over the air seems to be the next step in its evolution. This surely beats placing your smartphone on a wireless charging pad, as you can virtually have your phone anywhere in the room as long as it remains within range of the wireless charger to keep the battery juiced up.

The Oppo X 2021 conceptual smartphone apparently comes with this technology underneath the hood, where it is known as “Wireless Air Charging”. This makes it possible to charge the smartphone even when it is no longer in direct contact with the charging pad, as you can check it out for yourself:

In other words, you can lift the smartphone off the charging pad, use it, and it will still continue to charge at 7.5 watts. The only catch so far is the limited range, which would be up to 10 cm away from the charging pad. That does not seem to be too practical a distance, but it is a start and I am quite sure that future implementations of this idea will greatly increase the range of wireless charging. At the very least, you no longer have to remain tethered to a cable. 

Oppo is not the only one in the game

Regular readers will know that Oppo is not the only one in the wireless charging game, especially when it concerns wireless charging over the air. Recently, we reported that Motorola and Xiaomi are also working on similar charging technologies. Both companies intend to offer over-the-air charging for their smartphones at distances of more than a meter, options. Both want to be able to charge their smartphones over a distance of one meter each, with Xiaomi’s plans looking rather advanced with their Mi Air Charge.

It does look as though Xiaomi is able to handle longers distances, but Oppo is looking at higher charging efficiency courtesy of its adaptive technology and has proven to be more successful in their attempt with up to 7.5 watts, as opposed to Xiaomi’s option that stops at 5 watts. Good luck charging at that rate for massive 5,000 mAh batteries that seem to be the norm in smartphones these days! You can be rest assured that over-the-air fast charging is still some distance away from being achieved. 

Either way, it will be exciting to see how this develops in the near future. Even though the technology is still in its infancy with only conceptual demonstrations, but it does seem to be the next step in smartphone evolution. It would not surprise anybody if the likes of Samsung and Apple were to take up this baton and not leave a potentially lucrative opportunity just to the Chinese manufacturers alone. 





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