FAQ

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Wireless Communication

What is wireless charging technology?

There are many different types of wireless charging technology on the market today, but by far the most common wireless charging standard is Qi. Now globally accepted as the industry standard, wireless charging has the opportunity to grow into a facility that is useful, widespread and practical. Today’s wireless chargers are able to power portable devices such as phones, but will soon be powering tablets, laptops, even drones and electric vehicles. Qi wireless charging has been adopted by technology industry leaders such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Huawei and Oppo.

How does wireless charging work?

Qi wireless charging uses an inductive method of wireless charging, where charging can happen by placing a device on or very near a wireless charger. The power reaches the device not through a traditional cable, but through an inductive electromagnetic field created by coils within the charging device, picked up by coils in the receiving device.

Is wireless charging safe?

There are no safety concerns around Qi wireless charging as the electromagnetic field is small, and operates over such a short distance. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has declared that there are no known hazards around Qi wireless charging. In many ways, the technology is actually safer than traditional cable charging. With no need for contact with cable connectors, and the ability to encase the charger in hard, waterproof plastic, there is less of a chance of electric shocks, and fires. Inductive wireless charging has been used in toothbrushes, and in medical devices for years because of this as it is safer to be used in more environments than traditional methods.

What devices use wireless charging?

All devices that are Qi certified will work with any Qi certified charger. Be sure to look for the Qi logo when you are making a purchase. Find out which smartphones currently use Qi wireless charging here.

Why does my business need wireless charging?

Now that there is a universally recognized standard for wireless charging, and all of the top smartphone manufacturers have committed to Qi, it’s only a matter of time before almost all of your customers or guests will have a device capable of wireless charging. At the moment, wireless charging is an unexpected convenience for your customers which boosts customer and guest experience, one which you can use to drive footfall and brand appeal. Soon, it will be another necessity.

However, Chargifi’s solution doesn’t stop with industry grade wireless charging hardware. Why not boost your customers’ experience while also gathering actionable insights about them? Chargifi’s SmartSpots gather usage data from your customers, which can be combined with data from your existing CRM to inform business decisions, and as a touch point to trigger customer experience-boosting events.

These services mean that wireless charging is not only a solution to ‘battery anxiety’, smart wireless charging at scale also provides businesses with actionable insights on customer behavior, and creates an additional touch point to interact with guests in a whole host of ways to boost brand loyalty and revenue.

How does the communication work?

Connectivity
Electric Imp is Chargifi’s partner for IoT security, connectivity, and lifecycle management. We also use Electric Imp’s BlinkUp™ technology to commission our Chargifi Neutrons and SmartSpots during the deployment phase.

Network Topology
Every node (Neutron and Cloud Gateway) talks to every other node within reach to relay messages between themselves. The Cloud Gateway sends messages to and from the Chargifi server using WiFi or Ethernet.

What data is sent to the Chargifi Cloud?

The Chargifi Neutron sends some information to the cloud for analytics purposes. Mainly, we collect data on session charging times per SmartSpot.
For more information, please contact us and ask for our Security Whitepaper.

What are the WiFi and network requirements?

Your venue requires a wireless network communications link to facilitate a continuous two-way connection between Chargifi Cloud and your Chargifi SmartSpots.

Depending on which version of SmartSpot you get, you’ll have different network requirements:

– Version 2 SmartSpots require 2.4 GHz WiFi.
– Version 3 SmartSpots require 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz WiFi or Ethernet and Bluetooth 4.2.

The estimated daily bandwidth required for each Version 2 SmartSpot per day is as follows:

– Upload: 218 kilobytes per day, assuming the SmartSpot is online 24 hours a day and has 20 charging sessions per day
– Download: 10 kilobytes per day

How will my venue’s WiFi network be affected?

For Version 2 SmartSpots, each Neutron connects to a venue’s WiFi network as a unique device with its own MAC address and, therefore, requires its own IP address. Therefore, the venue’s network subnets need an IP address for each SmartSpot that is planned to be installed. A new dedicated subnet for Chargifi devices may be necessary. Similarly, each WiFi access point will need to be able to handle an appropriate number of simultaneously connected devices.
Depending on the volume of usage on the SmartSpot, each Neutron transmits around 200 kB per day.
If the network connection is interrupted, the Neutron can store data locally for a limited period and then transmit this to Chargifi Cloud when the connection is reestablished.

For Version 3 SmartSpots, your network needs space for the Cloud Gateways only and not each individual SmartSpot, thereby reducing the amount of space required in a subnet.

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