wiToyota has just announced that its 2013 Avalon will be the world's first vehicle to offer in-console Qi wireless charging for mobile devices. It's a major victory for the Qi standard; support from automakers is nothing short of critical if any wireless charging solution is to gain mainstream momentum. Qi charging is available as part of a technology package for the new Avalon Limited, which made its way to Toyota showrooms earlier this month. Occupants will be able to place any Qi-compatible device down on a charging pad situated in the vehicle's center console.
Existing handsets without Qi's technology built in can also be charged when placed in specialized cases cases, as demonstrated in the above photo of Apple's iPhone. Randy Stephens, the chief engineer behind the 2013 Avalon, said that partnering with Qi — which faces heightening competition from the Power Matters Alliance and other companies vying to control the wireless charging market — "reflects Toyota's continuing commitment to improve the consumer experience." The company isn't yet saying if and when other models will gain similar functionality. Qi's wireless charging standard has seen implmentation in several smartphones of late including Nokia's Lumia 920, the Google / LG Nexus 4, and HTC's Windows Phone 8X.
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