• Google is working to add support for NFC Wireless Charging into Android 15.
  • Many smaller devices don’t support Qi wireless charging because they don’t have enough space to fit a charging receiver coil.
  • NFC Wireless Charging requires much less integration space, so it’s better suited for smaller devices.

When it comes to wireless charging, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Qi standard. Qi wireless charging has been around for a while, and it’s found in many of the smart devices we use daily. However, there are many smaller electronic devices where Qi wireless charging is either uncommon or nonexistent. This is because smaller devices might not have enough internal space to fit a coil big enough to adequately receive power. That’s why the industry association behind Near-Field Communication (NFC), the technology that powers contactless payments, created the NFC Wireless Charging (WLC) specification.

Announced back in May of 2020, NFC Wireless Charging works with significantly smaller antennas than Qi wireless charging. NFC Wireless Charging antennas can be smaller than 1cm in size and packaged in a flexible, bendable PCB so they can be squeezed into incredibly tiny smart devices like earbuds, styluses, smartwatches, and tracker tags. Plus, the same antenna can be used for traditional NFC data transfers, saving even more space. Many smaller, low-power devices (like tracker tags, for example) already include an NFC chip for basic data transfers, so swapping that for a single antenna that manages both communications and charging would make a lot of sense.