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Qi2 and better wireless charging for future Rondos?


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After hearing that the Rondo 2 and Rondo 3 can use standard Qi wireless chargers, I've been watching out for new info.  Last month there were articles discussing Qi2 and how it is coming out later this year in products.  Given how long it takes for FDA testing and more - it might take longer to work its way to cochlear implant processors.

A key aspect seems to be a large magnetic ring on the device that seems a lot bigger than our Rondos but I haven't looked into more technical details. 

If it works for devices as small as a Rondo, it seems like it would a nice improvement in two major ways for future Rondos:

  • Magnetic alignment to ensure things don't slip.  (I had my first case of slippage during the nightly recharge today and had only a partial charge.)
  • Greater efficiency resulting in less lost energy being converted to heat.  Heat is the enemy of rechargeable batteries and that should help in longevity.

I looked through the list of 374 companies that are members of the the Wireless Power Consortium that controls the Qi standard - MedEl is a member but I don't see Advanced Bionics, Phonak, Cochlear, or Resound. 

By the way, Cochlear's Kanso has a combined charger and drying system. I'm curious how they do that without affecting risking overheating the battery since that would seem to be the reason that we aren't supposed to put Rondo 2 and 3 in the UV dryer.  It will be interesting to see if Med-El adds that kind of capability in the future (again, likely limited to future Rondos.)


Just like the earlier thread about Auracast, it is encouraging to see the new technologies that will help make our CIs even better in the future.  In any case, I'm pretty happy with my new Rondo 3 but in 5 years I'll qualify for a replacment processor and it will be great to see what it will like.


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I use a MagSafe charger for my iPhone, and it does make it much easier to ensure you've got things aligned.  The wireless charger in my car achieves the same thing through mechanical restriction (phone slots into a restricted space) and with my Rondo I've been thinking about 3D printing something similar to use it on my MagSafe chargers for more reliable positioning.

Interestingly, I worked with the very first company that attempted to commercialise wireless charging back in 2005 (called Splashpower, based in Cambridge, UK).  We probably set the bar a bit high, but our working units were designed for multi-device, any position, any angle charging.  This meant you could drop a phone, a Bluetooth headset and a camera (or whatever) on the pad and it would charge them all, automatically turning itself off once the last device had finished charging.

Sadly, we could never get past the "chicken or egg" scenario of how to get chargers out there with no enabled devices, or devices enabled without any chargers.  The current approach of a universal, single device charger that requires manual alignment is a long way from where we were able to get the technology, but hits the price point much better!

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This article popped into my inbox recently.


Think a Rondo 3 mashed in together with a HRM and FitBit 🤣

Possibly the most exciting innovation in Bluetooth technology for people like us though is Auracast:


Could be a game changer for ALS!


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