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Summary:

Wireless charging add-ons tend to bring added bulk to an otherwise thin iPhone. That’s what makes iQi so interesting; it’s only 0.5 millimeters thick save for the lightning port. A review unit is on the way for testing.

iqi iphone 5s

Apple iPhones don’t support wireless charging unless you want to put a somewhat bulky case on them. That, of course, takes away from the thinness of the iPhone. But what if you could add wireless charging without the bulk? That’s the premise behind iQi — pronounced “i-chee” —  a funded Indiegogo project that plans to deliver a skinny solution next month.

The iQi is a receiver for wireless energy and, as the name implies, is compatible with the Qi wireless power standard. The thickest part of the accessory is 1.4 millimeters; it’s the lightning port. The rest of the iQi, however, is just 0.5 millimeters thick. Most wireless chargers use a coiled wire inside, so the iQi must use very thin wire to keep its profile low.

iqi thin

To use the iQi, you plug it in to the lightning port of an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s or fifth-generation iPod touch and flip the rest of the accessory behind your device. From there, you’ll need a thin cover of your choice — although the iQi folks will sell you one — to keep it in place. So you’ll still need a case but you get to pick it and it will likely be far less bulky than standard wireless charging cases.

iqi

The iQi project still has a good week to go so if you want in on early-bird pricing, you can do so for as little as $25. The iQi charger is expected to retail for $35, so you can save a few bucks now. The company is also selling Qi-charging pucks if you need one.

I’ve been using a dual-device Qi charging pad for some Android devices for the past few months and have come to appreciate the convenience. It’s the type of technology that sounds mundane and useless but I’d actually miss it now that I’m used to it; it’s a no-brainer to drop my iPhone 5s on the nightstand charging pad before bed with no fuss.

I have an iQi review unit on the way, so stay tuned for a video look next week to see how it works.

  1. I’m looking forward to your review, Kevin. I wonder if you know what technology was used to enable wireless charging with the Palm Pre? I’ve got one of those lying around somewhere and it would be great to use that if possible. As for a case, it seems it might be practical to have one that would cover and thus protect the lightning port.

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  2. I’m really looking forward to them branching out to other devices. A microUSB version would be AMAZING – I could finally get wireless charging on my Galaxy Note 8.0.

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  3. Amazing new way to charge your phone. Phone can be used while charging. Takes no desk space whatsoever. Free costs nothing, convenient works anywhere there is an outlet.

    wait for it………………..

    The wired charger that you get FREE with EVERY iphone.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out! ;)

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  4. Wow i like it and i want one, but i’m from Angola

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  5. I’m considering contributing and buying one but I’m concerned about the longevity of that thin connector. They haven’t mentioned the fact that some of us need to use a Lightning cable to transfer things to and from our iPhones. If I have to keep unplugging this and plugging it back in again (a) it’s kind of defeating the object of buying a wireless charger, and (b) I really doubt that thin cable’s gonna survive very long.

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    1. What do you need to transfer? It’s more bulky to carry but you can always carry the puck with you. Otherwise, wireless sync your phone.

      But if you still need to unplug it all the time for your requirements, this is clearly not for you. The whole point of this is to reduce the bulk of the wireless charging case you normally need which imo is way more off putting than this.

      I have Air Play music docks so don’t need to unplug for that. So have chosen the two puck package and cannot wait for it to arrive. This this my first investment into a “kickstarter” product.

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  6. Will it work if I have a thick case on your iphone like an otter box ?

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  7. The technology seems to be concrete and works right now. The production run? It’s difficult to tell if Fonesalesman will distribute units if the capital isn’t met, but it seems to believe in the product and the vision.

    Thanks for the read

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  8. this technology has been used in electric toothbrushes for many years – not rocket science and not required.

    We need new ideas, not recycled ideas.

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  9. Hi Kevin, Did you get to try it out yet?

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  10. If you wanna charge iPhone, a receiver is necessary for a wireless charger at this time. I’ve a RavPower Qi wireless charger and a receiver, it works pretty well.

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