News: Audi Showcases Wireless Charging at SEMA
- Friday 5th November, 2010
The SEMA Show in Las Vegas each year now attracts the who's who of automakers, aftermarket part suppliers, performance shops and tuners, and of course the enthusiasts. Many are using this platform to showcase their latest developments, builds and products.
One product release that caught our attention was Audi announcing that they have developed one of the first OEM applications of wireless device charging for its vehicles. With this charger, Audi claims that people will be able to charge their smartphones in their Audi vehicles without connecting a charging cable, cord, or adapter. This technology is only relatively new in the aftermarket, and it's great to see the OE manufacturer's listening to what consumers want.
The system was developed in collaboration with Electronics Research Lab, Qualcomm Incorporated, and Peiker and works similarly to the inductive charging mats that have entered the market over the last year. Users simply drop their smartphone onto the pad, which mounts in the center console and connects to the vehicle's power supply with a single cable, and the charging begins. The single connection and the simple nature of the installation means that this system could potentially be available as a dealer installed option that users can add to their vehicle at any time.
As the charging occurs, Audi states that users will be able to receive feedback of charging state and status on the device's screen and on the vehicle's infotainment system's screen. The automaker also claims that the system doesn't interfere with the operation of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi wireless connections. If this is true, users will be able to enter their vehicle, drop their phone onto the charger, and use the Bluetooth connection for audio streaming - simple as that!
This could be a huge leap in user-friendliness. However like other inductive charging systems on the market, users will likely need to use a battery that supports wireless charging for Audi's system to work. In the case of the iPhone the user will need an inductive case. So there may be some additional costs involved, but we certainly see this as a positive step embracing new technologies.