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A better way to wirelessly charge your iPhone 8 and X?

A startup wants to charge your new iPhone just by being nearby.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
James Martin/CNET

Apple finally hopped on the wireless charging bandwagon with the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. While this is the first time the tech has appeared on an iPhone, Apple's wireless charging still requires contact with a charging mat. Previous rumors stated that Apple was looking into ways to charge your phone from a distance, like across the room or while it's still in your bag.

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The Pi charger can wirelessly charge multiple devices at a time, no contact necessary.


For years now, companies have been trying to make this a reality through infrared light and magnetic fields. A new startup called Pi is the latest to try to power multiple devices from a short distance without you having to place them directly on a charging pad. The Pi charger uses the Qi standard so it can wirelessly charge Apple's new iPhones without any extra accessories.

Although wireless charging has been around for a few years in phones, Apple's adoption of the technology may prompt a wave of other phones to adopt the feature. A spike in phones with wireless chargers will in turn pave the way for companies to innovate, like Pi.

Watch this: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus get wireless charging

Currently, the Pi charger can power up four or more devices that are within a foot (30 cm) of the charging station. The Pi charger also works at any angle, meaning that your phone can be above, below, or to any side of the device, and not directly touching it like other wireless charging mats. The charger will mete out up to 10W per device.

Although the Pi charger made an appearance at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, it won't come out until sometime in 2018, and should cost less than $200 shipped (about £150 or AU$250) -- no exact timeline or price was given.

It's up to you whether you'd pay that much to get an extra foot of wireless wiggle room, especially when you could just buy an extra-long charging cable. But Pi is moving us closer to a long distance charging future, even if it's only by a few inches for now.

Read CNET's iPhone 8 review here. The iPhone X will be available for preorder starting Oct. 27.

iPhone 8 and iPhone X unveiled: Pictures, photos from the Apple event

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