(credit: Andrii Degeler)

Wireless chargers using standards like Qi have been on the market for a while; IKEA even includes them in some of its furniture these days. But if you think about it, there's not that much difference between wired and wireless charging of this kind. After all, the charger still needs to be plugged into a wall socket, and you still need to leave the phone in a designated place to charge.

What would be a significant improvement, however, is charging a smartphone just by hanging around in the same room as a wireless charger.

XE, a Ukrainian startup working in semi-stealth mode since 2014, claims to have found a safe and reliable way to transfer electricity to a device that's up to five meters (16ft) away. The commercial version of the technology will consist of a base charging station of about 15×15×40cm and a 3mm thick smartphone case.

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