Did you know that the iPhone 8 and iPhone X supports truly wireless, pad-free charging? Though Apple doesn’t offer a solution to enable this out of the box (or even out of the store,) a third-party is on the verge of doing just that.

When Apple announced its new smartphones earlier this month some were disappointed the new devices supported the Qi standard for wireless charging of devices. This method has been around for awhile – certain Android phones already use this functionality – and many Apple fans were disappointed that Tim Cook and Co. didn’t disrupt the game by making wireless charging truly wireless.

The current method uses a pad, where users place their devices on top to charge them. Of course, the pad needs to be plugged in with a wire, and you can’t really use your device while it’s charging.

However, long-range resonant induction charging – widely believed to be the next generation in wireless charging is able to operate without being in contact with a device.

And although Apple didn’t wait to introduce wireless charging until it had developed this solution as the key way of charging, the new devices fully support the functionality. Even better, a new startup called Pi has managed to create an operational prototype that can provide 10w of power – roughly comparable to charging via a Lightning cable – and it’s already taking orders.

What the Pi will look like

Are there any caveats? Of course there are. Firstly, Pi will only have a range of about a foot, while it’s expected to be pricey – around $200. Will it be worth it? Well, it depends on whether you consider a range that’s ultimately shorter than a Lightning cable to be what freedom looks like.

The company has also not confirmed when these devices will go on sale.

But importantly, it’s interesting to see that Apple already supports this technology, and the wider tech-landscape is making serious steps to making true wireless charging a reality.

Here’s the blurb from the Pi website:

“Pi is more than a work of art, it’s groundbreaking technology. Our patented power platform allows Pi to change the angle of a magnetic field to perfectly match the angle of your device – no more charging pads. It can charge up to four phones at full speed, or even more devices at reduced speed even if they’re moving. And it follows existing FCC safety guidelines. The result is safe, seamless power.”