Since the release of the Nexus 4 and Nokia Lumia 920, both of which support wireless charging via the Qi standard, it’s easy to take the functionality for granted.
Sure, it’s not difficult to plug in a device, but placing a phone on a flat surface and watching the battery gauge magically rise is still a compelling experience, even a year later.
Apple continues to avoid adopting technologies it doesn’t explicitly believe in — see NFC for a good example — so it’s nice to see elegant solutions solve these types of omissions.
iQi is a good example of such a solution. It’s a 0.5mm thick add-on to the iPhone 5, 5c or 5s, expanding to 1.4mm at the Lightning port and, coupled with a soft case, adds Qi wireless charging to the device. While occupying the Lightning port does mean it will need to be removed each time one actually wants to plug it in, iQi is easily the most unobtrusive wireless charging add-on available.
The London-based project has already reached its $30,000 USD goal with over a week to go, and the $25 accessory looks like it’s going to reach its $50,000 stretch goal, which includes a clear case with each purchase.
Of course, you’ll need a Qi wireless charger to use with the iQi, but there are many of them, from TYLT to Nokia to the official Nexus 5 charger, if you’re still in the market. The unfortunate nature of crowdfunding campaigns, too, necessitates an extra $15 for shipping to Canada, but if you have an Amerifriend, shipping is free to the U.S.