After inventing alternating current electrical transmission, Nikolai Tesla became obsessed with wireless electric transmission. He even created the scary Tesla Coil to demonstrate the concept.
Tesla’s wireless electricity transmission was ahead of its time and we’ve been tethered to the electrical cord ever since.
But wireless battery charging has become possible in recent years such as with the Powermat charging system for cellphones. Now Toyota plans is offering in-car wireless cellphone charging with the Qi-enabled wireless charging system. Qi is an global standard technology promoted by the Wireless Power Consortium.
Toyota will offer the system as an option on Limited models.
To charge a cellphone – or other Qi-enabled device – all the user does is flip a switch and drop the phone on the high-friction charging surface.
While the Avalon’s system appears to be the first factory installation of the technology, Dodge actually introduced a dealer-installed wireless charging system in the Dodge Dart, which went on sale early this year.
In the Avalon, the charging pad is integrated into what Toyota calls an Ebin lid on the vehicle’s center console. The system is supplied by DENSO. The system uses technology developed by ConvenientPower and Philips Lite-on Digital Solution.
“We see wireless charging as an important feature that helps enhance the high-technology theme and consumer interface offered by Avalon Limited which is already equipped with three TFT color screens and Intellitouch™ controls,” Toyota Avalon Chief EngineerRandy Stephens said.
Qi wireless charging is now integrated in 34 mobile phone models, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X. Qi-certified products range from smartphones to charging pads, gaming controllers, Blu-ray Disc recorders, smartphone docking speakers, alarm clocks and battery packs and of course, automobile phone chargers. The charging modules can also be installed in tabletops and furniture.
The new 2013 Avalon arrived in showrooms earlier this month.
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