BlackBerry maker RIM will be contributing to developing a wireless charging standard called Qi as a part of the Wireless Power Consortium. Interestingly Qi is pronounced “chee” and means “vital energy” in Chinese philosophy. The goal is to make Qi become to wireless charging what USB is to wired charging. RIM is not the first handset maker to join the quest. Nokia beat RIM to it in October and Samsung in May.
The group was formed in December 2008 to facilitate the increasing inclusion of wireless power receivers in all battery-powered mobile devices and into the batteries themselves. With the explosion of wireless devices in the market, the need for a wireless power charger is expected to rise. And also along with it the need for a wireless power standard for interoperability across rechargeable electronic devices. The consortium now boasts of 21 members from wireless/Electronics segments and says that its second round of interoperability testing is successfully complete. The Qi receivers will be royalty-free for consumer products as an incentive to device manufacturers to include wireless power capability in a broad range of mass market products.