A Qi Certified product is a promise that Wireless Power Consortium makes to consumers. What does this mean? It means that when they purchase a device that bears the Qi logo, it will charge effectively, efficiently, and safely with a Qi Certified charger. After all, Qi and Qi Certification is and always will be the consumer’s assurance of quality.
It sounds simple but ensuring Qi Certification is actually not simple at all. It involves science, rigour, and the ultimate in quality control. Wireless Power Consortium’s Director of Quality, Mitch Kettrick, knows first-hand just how much care goes into ensuring quality in the market. Since he joined WPC, Mitch has been working on several initiatives to enhance quality in the Qi Certification process. While quality has always been a top priority for WPC, there has been an even greater emphasis on it recently in order to ensure consumer safety as our standards increase in power delivery (AKA fast charging). Fast charging has its inherent risks due to the higher power that is involved, therefore quality control is critical to protecting the consumer.
For WPC to fulfill our promise of a quality Qi Certified product, WPC follows three rigorous steps:
First and foremost, we must ensure that products attain Qi Certification. This in and of itself involves two important steps. When a product is developed, we will first submit it for testing to a third-party authorized test lab, otherwise known as an ATL. Once a device passes an ATL test, it is then sent for interoperability testing to a different set of third-party independent test labs. These tests ensure that every cell phone works with every other transmitter that has been certified. During this process, we will test the interoperability of a device with around 200 chargers – yes, 200 (told you, the process is rigorous)! On the other end of the spectrum, we will also test each charger with around 200 devices so that we know a Qi Certified charger works as it should, also.
Since Mitch has come on board with WPC, the organization has been taking these testing processes one giant step further. During these tests, we are now collecting data at all touch points in the process so that we can closely analyze said data through a root cause analysis. Through this analysis, we can determine why things fail during either the ATL or interoperability processes and ultimately augment our processes and our requirements based on what we have determined. This root cause analysis will enable us to improve processes and procedures to resolve defects at the start.
We know, we know. This process already sounds daunting. But ATL and interoperability testing is only one piece of the quality control pie. Next, we go to the market.
It’s one thing for a product to pass a test, it’s another thing for it to maintain certification in the market. Therefore, a market inspection will typically take place 4-6 months after a device is certified. This tedious process involves taking a product that is for sale – literally anywhere in the world – and testing it to make sure that it still complies with the Qi Certification requirements.
Why, you might ask, would we do this if a product has already been certified? Well, it’s easy to create a golden device that can get through the process, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to mass-produce millions of devices that will also hit that same level of quality that a Qi Certified product should carry. This is why thorough market inspection is so important.
But, what do we do when we find a device on that market that doesn’t meet the certification requirements? This is where our enforcement piece comes in.
During our market inspection process, our goal is to find devices in the market that say that they are Qi Certified but don’t actually meet our requirements. If we find devices that do not comply with the certification requirements, we will work with retailers to ensure these products get removed.
This process isn’t punitive, even if it sounds as though it is. Rather than looking to punish the manufacturers who are selling products under false pretences of being Qi Certified when they are not, we welcome them through our front door and invite them to be WPC members so that they can properly certify their products. This enforcement process protects not only our brand, but most importantly the consumers. After all, our ultimate goal is to ensure that any consumer who purchases a product with a Qi logo anywhere in the world will get a product that is truly Qi Certified.
As you can see, a lot goes into the Qi Certification process. There are a lot of moving pieces, both on the front end with testing and the back end with inspections and enforcement. But, when these quality pieces are managed well as they are at WPC, consumers can rest assured knowing that the products they buy with a Qi logo will work exactly as they should.
We’re always working to improve, update and evolve the Qi standard and Qi2 will offer improved wireless charging, a new user experience and pave the way for future features and enhancements.
To be certain that a product has been tested to Qi Certification standards, search for it in our database.