After finding their way into our homes and offices, wireless charging systems for cell phones and other electronic devices are now beginning to make their appearance in automobiles.
General Motors has already introduced a wireless cell phone mat and so has Chrysler's Mopar division, but Toyota is laying claims to the "world’s first application of Qi wireless in-car charging" as part of a Technology Package for both the 2013 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid models.
We reached out to Chrysler to ask whether its already available wireless charging system adheres to the "Qi" interface standards and we will post an update once we receive a reply, but for now, we will take Toyota's word for it.
Set to become available next year, Toyota's system includes is a wireless charging pad integrated into the so-called "ebin" lid situated in new Avalon sedan's center console.
If a device is Qi-enabled from the manufacturer, then all you have to do is place it on the mat and click a switch beneath the lid. According to Toyota, Qi wireless charging is currently integrated in 34 mobile phone models, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X.
If a mobile phone doesn't come with built-in Qi compatibility (i.e. the iPhone 4S), then you will have to purchase a separate accessory such as a sleeve or a special back cover, as is the case with the Samsung Galaxy S3.
“Pioneering the ability to charge with no wires or connectors by simply putting devices in the car console is an intuitive innovation which reflects Toyota’s continuing commitment to improve the consumer experience,” commented Randy Stephens, chief engineer of Toyota Avalon.
“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,” he added.
You can see how Toyota's wireless charging system works in the video after the break.