Toyota's 2013 Avalon Limited Shipping With Qi Wireless Charging Support

Automobiles are changing at a faster rate than ever before, particularly in the technology space. Historically, motorcars have evolved fairly slowly compared to the rapid pace of technological change, but now that technology is becoming an integral part of cars, the whole experience is hastening. Just look at Toyota's newest car -- the 2013 Avalon Limited will soon become the first car on Earth to offer Qi wireless charging right from the factory.

A limited number of phones and cases support the Qi wireless charging standard, but it's applications like this that will surely spur growth. It's things like this nod of approval from Toyota that'll solve the dreaded chicken-and-egg problem. The Qi console will be available in the petrol and hybrid versions of the car, which also includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High beams and a Pre-Collision System. There are a few wireless charging standards on the market, but Qi is the clear frontrunner. Any Qi-enabled device works with any Qi charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer.

The Avalon's wireless charging pad is integrated into the ebin lid situated in vehicle's center console. The system can be enabled by a switch beneath the lid, and charging is as simple as placing the phone upon the lid's high-friction surface. Supplied by DENSO, the Avalon's wireless charging system relies on technology developed by ConvenientPower and Philips Lite-on Digital Solution (PLDS). Qi wireless charging is now integrated in 34 mobile phone models, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X. Qi-certified products range from smartphones to charging pads, gaming controllers, Blu-ray Disc recorders, smartphone docking speakers, automobile phone chargers, alarm clocks and battery packs, to charging modules that can be installed in tabletops and furniture.

The real question here is whether or not other cars, boats, etc. jump onto the bandwagon. The Avalon is a nice start, but it'll need to spread its wings even wider if it hopes to truly grab mainstream attention.