The Ki to the cordless kitchen

Qi charging standard built upon.

IFA saw the world debut of technology from the Wireless Power Consortium that may change kitchen surfaces and appliances forever.

Launching with live demonstrations at IFA, the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) has built upon its successful standard for wireless charging mobile devices – Qi – to bring to market a new benchmark in cordless charging for kitchens, called Ki (pronounced ‘kee’).

Drawing on the experience and knowledge of over 570 international member companies including Apple, Canon, Google, Haier, Huawei, IKEA, LG, Philips, Sony, Verizon Wireless and Xiaomi, the WPC has collaborated to bring the same near-field communication technology that facilitates bank cards, hotel keys and passports to kitchen worktops and the appliances thereon.

Standard-compliant products including toasters, rice cookers, blenders, coffee makers and air fryers will be able to charge wirelessly up to 2.2kW utilising power transmitters that can be neatly hidden beneath countertops.

“Ultimately, the Ki Cordless Kitchen standard will change the way we interact with our kitchens,” said Hans Kablau, chair, WPC’s Kitchen Work Group.

“Not only will the standard allow everything from chopping vegetables to cooking to reading the newspaper to all take place on the same surface, it also enables a whole new category of smart cookware. These smart pans can be simply placed on a power transmitter spot and allow consumer to cook on their counters just as they would on their stove.”

To ensure safe operation the Ki Cordless Kitchen standard prevents power from being transferred when non-culinary items such as keys, phones and bank cards are placed on the transmitter spot, preventing them from damage, overheating or corruption. In keeping with the trend toward smart kitchens, there also is capacity for two-way communication between the power transmitter and appliances.

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