Apparently Xiaomi isn’t the only mobile company working on over-the-air wireless charging. At MWC Shanghai 2021 earlier today, Oppo unveiled its own take on this futuristic tech, which is aptly dubbed “Wireless Air Charging” for now. The company’s demo — both at the booth and in the official video — featured an Oppo X 2021 rollable concept phone placed on a wireless charger, and even when lifted up slightly while being gently tilted in various directions, the device was still able to charge.
According to Oppo, its Wireless Air Charging tech uses magnetic resonance to deliver up to 7.5W of power, and it kicks in when the device is within a 10cm distance from the charging mat. This may not sound as impressive as Xiaomi’s “Mi Air Charge” which, using millimeter wave RF, can allegedly deliver 5W of power in any direction over several meters, though this requires a significantly bulkier (and likely costlier) charging station — much like the router for Energeous’ WattUp system.
Both magnetic resonance and RF-based wireless charging are nothing new, of course. Members of the AirFuel Alliance have been pushing these standards for almost a decade, and we’ve seen a handful of demos in person as well. But for various reasons, the industry as a whole has yet to be convinced by what’s supposed to be the next evolution of wireless charging. For now, we’re stuck with induction-based wireless charging, until the likes of Samsung and Apple make a call — much like how they eventually popularized Qi.
Meanwhile, Oppo has found a few new partners to help expand its VOOC fast-charging ecosystem (which can also be fully utilized by recent devices from OnePlus and Realme, of course). One of the latest recruits is China’s FAW-Volkswagen, which will integrate Oppo’s mobile charging tech into its locally-made vehicles. Anker, a brand known for its mobile accessories, launched its first VOOC-compatible charger and portable battery today, both of which offer 20W VOOC and 18W USB-PD charging.
Semiconductor firm NXP has also become one of the 40-plus VOOC licensees, with its MWCT2013A car charger platform supporting the existing 40W AirVOOC (as featured on Oppo’s Evangelion phone) as well as Qi wireless charging standards. Apparently there’s a good chance that this solution may end up on a FAW-Volkswagen car, and who knows, maybe car makers in other countries will join the fun, too.