A technology that allows electrical energy to be sent over a very short distance, without a wire or other direct electrical contact.
In phones, it allows a phone to charge by simply placing it on top of a special charging pad. A type of wire coil in the back of the phone aligns with a matching coil in the charging pad, forming a very short wireless link that sends power - and thus charges the battery - even though the coils themselves aren't physically touching.
"Qi" is one popular standard for inductive/wireless charging. Only with a standard such as Qi can consumers know that inductive charging will work among devices from different manufacturers.
Because there can be a small distance between the two coils, the charging pad can be placed slightly below a thin surface, such as a coffee shop table or car console.