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Wireless charging comes to smartphones courtesy of Mint

By Staff writers | 12:05 pm 24/06/2013

That whole area of cordless charging hasn’t exactly taken off in the way many expected it to, but one provider has come up with a solution that can make quite a few smartphones tackle the area head on, or battery-on, even.

Launched by Mint Technology, the iStyle Qi – which is actually pronounced “chee” despite thinking it might sound like “key” – Wireless Charger is a wireless charging station that relies on a small card you can insert into your own phone that sits atop the battery.

The product is aimed at being an inexpensive method of making any supported handset into a wireless chargeable device, and we’re told it’s essentially the same stuff Nokia is using in its wireless solutions, as is falls under the Qi standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium.

Mint’s iStyle product is actually two bits, with the charging card designed for a phone battery, and the changing station, though both can be purchased together.

Mint's wireless Qi charging station

“For less than $30, you can turn a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone into a Qi compliant device, with the purchase of an iStyle Qi Wireless Charging Card which very easily fits within the casing of the phone and adds no weight or bulk to the phone at all,” said Mint Technology’s Kuni Ishii, Managing Director of the company.

“But the exciting thing about this new inductive electrical power transfer technology is that being the new industry standard, Qi charging stations will soon be available everywhere, fitted within tables in cafes, restaurants and airports – all manner of public places, enabling Qi compliant devices to remain in charge wherever you go.”

We haven’t yet seen any wireless charging stations in our travels, but the Mint range of Qi cards have been made for  Samsung’s S3 handset, with a Galaxy S4 model out too, while the Mint Qi charger will also work for select LG and Nokia devices, too. Think the Google Nexus 4 and Nokia’s wireless charging Lumia devices.

Both products – the charge card and the charge station – can be found at electronic retailers across the country, with $29.95 fetching the card, $59.95 the charge station, or a starting price of $79.95 grabbing both in a combo pack.

UPDATE (June 25): We have some more info as to how it works. The cards by Mint are available only for the S3 and S4 handsets, but the Qi charge station will work with LG and Nokia devices supporting wireless charging.

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