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Short-range wireless charging just hit a whole new level

Pi can wirelessly charge devices located up to one foot away - so you can use and charge them at the same time.

Published onSeptember 19, 2017

Although it sounds great on paper, wireless charging does have its drawbacks. The biggest one is that you can’t really use your smartphone while it’s charging, because you can’t hold onto it while it charges. Another problem is that the majority of charging pads on the market are small and can only charge one device at a time.

A startup called Pi wants to solve these issues with its innovative solution that goes under the same name. Pi is a contactless wireless charger that looks like a lampshade and can charge devices that are located up to one foot away from it. This means that if you get close enough, you can still use your smartphone as you normally would and charge it at the same time. Nice!

The company claims that Pi can charge up to four devices at full speed, with the speed being reduced when more are added. Although it plans on selling the charger as a standalone product at first, it might join forces with other companies in the near future to integrate the technology into various products. These might include the Google Home speaker and Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices, among others.

Will Apple embracing wireless charging finally make it ubiquitous?

Pi does sound like a promising product and definitely offers more than standard wireless charging pads. However, the distance limitation — one foot — isn’t great, as you really have to get close to the device for it to actually work. Nevertheless, it’s still a step in the right direction and gives us a glimpse into what the future of wireless charging might look like. Hopefully, companies will be able to develop products similar to Pi in the years to come that will be able to charge all devices located in the same room.

As of now, there’s no word on exactly how much the product will set you back. All we know is that it will be priced below $200 when it ships sometime next year. You can already reserve yours on the company’s website, and if you’re one of the first 314 people to do so, you’ll get a $50 discount code.

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