The Consumer Electronics show 2019 began on the 8th of January in Las Vegas, attracting over 180,000 attendees and around 4,500 exhibitors from over 155 countries. As is to be expected it showcased some ground-breaking new consumer tech, including foldable TVs, 5G smartphones and smart cars.
Just like last year wireless charging was prominent, with various new chargers on display that seem to be pushing Qi charging closer towards the mainstream. If we could point out one major development compared to last year (read our article on CES 2018) its that Qi adopters were really pushing faster charging speeds with the norm now 10W or even 15W, both of which are comparable to wired chargers.
Just like last year RF charging technologies did steal many of the headlines with their visions of “true wireless charging”. But in reality it seems they have made little progress since last year, at least in the realm of smartphone charging anyway.
However, Powercast might be the exception here as they were showing off a working RF product: their wireless charging grips for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons were able to provide charge from up to a few feet away. But as you may have guessed, this technology is designed for peripheral gadgets like game controllers only, not smartphones.
This is our favourite time of year and we get very excited by all these new wireless chargers, so it is our pleasure to fill you in on some of truly innovative inductive chargers that were on show,
Here are our top 5 from CES 2019:
5. The Zendure SuperHub
First off we have the Zendure 3 in 1 SuperHub, an easy pick thanks to all the functionality it adds in a small and compact device. This hub offers an HDMI port, a USB-C PD for optimal charging speeds and a standard USB port. There is also a wireless charging coil located on the top, so essentially you could charge three devices at the same time. On top of all that, this product is DEX compatible so if you have a Samsung phone you can use it to broadcast your phone to a TV or Laptop via the HDMI port. That's a lot of uses for one small hub!
Skip to 0:55 on this video to see more:
4. The Griffin PowerBlock Fast Charging Pad with Apple Watch Dock
Although AirPower may be looming close on the horizon and despite the existence of products such as the Samsung Wireless Charger Duo and the CHOETECH PowerDual Pad, we had to include this product as it provides the same capability in a simple no frills design.
The flat pad design with a simple stand for your smartwatch make it a neat way to charge and the grippy rubberised surface helps keep your device secure. There is also a smart LED indicator and even nightstand mode compatibility.
We also just wanted to draw your attention to this new range from Griffin, this is their first attempt at wireless charging, and a great one at that. No doubt they’ve had some help from the engineers down at Incipio - one of their daughter companies.
3. The iOttie Auto Sense Wireless Fast Charging Car Mount
Qi charging car mounts have been growing in popularity over the past couple of years, most likely due to the advent of navigation apps on smartphones. Many of the top wireless charging manufacturers have had a crack at their own model but this one from iOttie, a company known for taking car mounts to the next level, really takes the biscuit for being just that bit extra special.
What’s super cool about this product is that it has sensors built into the mount that can detect when your phone is near and the cradle will then automatically extend to accommodate your phone – this means no more fiddling whilst you’re driving. Even if this seems like a gimmick it’s actually a huge convenience and is far safer than fiddling with your car mount when you're driving.
iOttie were also showcing their Easy One Touch Connect, a car mount that has Alexa built in – unfortunately it doesn’t also come with wireless charging so it can’t make our list but maybe they’ll have the foresight to combine these two mounts into one super awesome mount... we can only hope.
2. Ventev Charging Pad with Watch Dock
Ventev are back again in 2019 with some more exciting tech at CES. Last year they showcased the wireless chargestand that all but solved the problem of phone positioning, this year they came out with an entire collection of new products including a car mount and a dual wireless charger.
However, the one that really caught our eye is their new watch dock with wireless charging pad on top. Strangely, this is actually the first charger of its kind we’ve witnessed despite it being a far more compact design than the wide dual pads we’ve seen so far.
As Scott Franklin, the Director of Marketing at Ventev mentions here in this interview with Digital Trends, this product would be perfect for bedtime charging, and we couldn’t agree more. Skip to 3:40 to see more:
1. Ampere Unravel
A new product that caught our attention here at The Wireless Solution was a fascinating new product called Unravel from the start-up Ampere. This product doesn’t change the game in terms of cutting-edge features but its innovation and convenience is to be applauded.
Essentially, the product consists of three 10W wireless charging pads joined together by hinges that allow you to fold the chargers into one neat stack.
As you may have gathered, we’re big sticklers for products adding lots of functionality into compact designs and we couldn’t have really asked for more with this charger. It can unravel to charge three devices all at the same time, each at 10W, and its coils are compatible with any Qi devices so it can charge both watches and smartphones.
The unravel can also be folded into a triangle with extendable feet or it can be stacked up into a block for easy portability, there is even a zip up case to make carrying this even more convenient.
Oh and its also USB-C compatible and can charge at 7.5W as well as 10W to accommodate iPhones. Is it possible to devise a more comprehensive travel charging solution?! We think not.
So there you have it, another CES and another year where we're amazed at the way that manufacturers are taking a technology as simple as Qi and turning it into something special.
And now that we are seeing products being made that aren't just gimmicky but also have the fast charging that can compete with wires, it might not be long until we see the Qi standard replace wires completely.
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- Tags: AirPower, Ampere, Apple, Charging Speed, Far Field, Griffin, Inductive, iOttie, iPhone, Powercast, Qi, RF, Samsung, Ventev, Zendure