Aira Aiming to Bring Full-Surface AirPower-Like Wireless Charging to Vehicles
Aira this week announced that it has received a strategic investment from automotive supplier Motherson to help bring its FreePower wireless charging technology to automakers. The companies aim to jointly develop, manufacture, and supply automotive-grade FreePower wireless charging modules for seamless integration into vehicle interiors.
Unlike traditional wireless charging mats, which require devices to be precisely aligned in order to charge, FreePower allows for full surface charging from corner to corner. The proprietary technology can accommodate different surface sizes and any number of Qi-enabled devices, including the latest iPhones and AirPods with a wireless charging case. One exception is the Apple Watch, which does not work with standard Qi chargers.
Aira envisions a vehicle with a large wireless charging surface spanning the center console, on which Qi-enabled devices could be placed to charge, with total freedom of movement. The exact implementation would likely be up to automakers, as some might want to incorporate cupholders and other features alongside the charging surface.
In September, accessory maker Nomad released the Base Station Pro wireless charging mat as the first product with FreePower integration. Priced at $199.95, the Base Station Pro has 18 charging coils that allow for three Qi-enabled devices to be charged at once, regardless of their position on the mat. This solution is similar to what Apple aimed to achieve with its canceled AirPower mat, although it lacks support for the Apple Watch.
No timeframe was offered for when we might see the first vehicles with support for FreePower. Aira also wants to expand the technology to furniture like desks and nightstands, as well as restaurants, airports, hotels, and more.