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October 11, 2012

WPC Approves Automotive Guidelines for 'Qi' Install

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

Recently, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) approved a new series of guidelines to assist designers of the Qi wireless chargers for the automotive market. The guidelines apply to low power (five watts or less) aftermarket automotive wireless powered transmitters and addresses safety, emissions, and vehicle interface.

Qi, pronounced “chee”, comes from the Chinese symbol meaning energy flow and is designed to provide energy to devices through magnetic location. Basically, these wireless chargers would allow mobile devices to be placed on top of a power transmission pad and charge through magnetic induction, nothing would have to be plugged in.

WPC released its “Guidelines for Automotive Aftermarket Qi Chargers,” with the intention of making sure all Qi users are “not disappointed” with a Qi automotive charger.

According to this information, in an automotive system wireless signals would be generated by the Qi transmitter and could interfere with some of the systems within the car. Specifically, key fobs used as an immobilizer or passive start systems, AM/FM radios, and tire press monitors.

Additionally, the guidelines go over where the location of the transmitter should be installed, how testing will still need to be done to see how it will affect users radios, and how it should be installed to prevent the least amount of damage. Although there are risks, the WPC said we live in a digital world and people want the ability to charge from their cars.

“As Qi is built directly into an increasing number of mobile phones, consumers want to wirelessly charge their devices everywhere they go, especially in their automobiles,” said WPC Automotive Application Group Chair, Luc Jansseune. “These new guidelines will help accelerate adoption of Qi by ensuring consumers the products they buy have met rigorous testing for optimal performance in vehicles.”

Additionally, WPC Chairman Menno Treffers added that the goal is to make sure that the Qi technology is available whenever and wherever consumers want it. “Now that we’re approaching 10 million Qi units worldwide, automotive companies are very interested in integrating Qi in automobiles. These guidelines will make it much easier for them to accomplish that goal.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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