Wireless power based on the Qi standard has established itself as the preferred technology for charging mobile devices in cars, homes, and common spaces worldwide. A broad ecosystem of thousands of interoperable devices has been built over the years, and the majority of OEMs now include wireless charging stations in their vehicles.
Unfortunately, the automotive wireless charging experience is flawed due to a number of system limitations:
- The receiver device needs to be precisely aligned with the transmitting device
- Pockets or rails are required to hold devices in place, but sizes vary widely
- Only one device can charge at a time
- Charging stations are not compatible with certain phones, headsets, or cases
- As new devices evolve their capabilities, existing wireless chargers are unable to support these updates
Today's transmitters typically feature one or three charging coil(s) located in the center of the charger, which leaves lots of room for error. If the user’s device is not precisely aligned with the coil, it will not receive power, leading to a frustrating experience that has significantly limited the adoption of this technology.
FreePower, Aira’s proprietary solution, overcomes all of these limitations with an advanced hardware and firmware approach that enables surface power in any size. FreePower charging stations (transmitters) consist of a matrix of overlapping coils that tracks the location of devices (receivers) placed on its surface, intelligently positioning magnetic fields that deliver efficient and precise power – even as receivers shift across the surface. Independently controlled charging zones enable several devices to charge simultaneously, with up to 15 Watts per device.
Credited by FastCompany for "fixing wireless charging’s biggest annoyance” and “delivering wireless charging the way it was always supposed to be,” Aira’s solution leverages the Qi standard library of compatible devices, while innovating considerably beyond the industries best practice with its multi-device free-position architecture.
FreePower’s fundamentally new approach to wireless power is equipped with more than 80 patent assets for its groundbreaking hardware, software, and magnetics. Unlike traditional wireless chargers that require precise alignment, FreePower features full surface charging from corner to corner. As Qi enabled devices are placed across the charging surface, power is delivered to each one, and intelligently managed to optimize performance and efficiency.
Since Aira has engineered FreePower in-house and from the ground up – including the magnetics, hardware, and controlling firmware – charging surfaces can be designed in any size, allowing OEMs to deliver surface power across their entire fleet of vehicles.
A first generation of this technology was successfully validated and launched as a consumer product, and Aira is now collaborating with OEMs and a Tier1 to deploy the second-generation platform for automotive applications. A pilot in form of a automotive wireless charging station integrated in a center console is capable of powering three devices simultaneously at up to 15 Watts per device.