The Qi standard created by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) is quickly becoming the main standard for wireless charging, with more and more devices packing Qi chargers into their bodies. Normally you'd have to place a Qi-compatible device directly in contact with a charging mat for it to replenish its juice, but with version 1.2 of the standard, that's set to change.

The main update in Qi version 1.2 is the addition of resonance charging, which will be supported alongside the more commonly used induction charging method. Resonance charging allows the power transmitter and receiving device to be separated by up to 45mm, making the specification more flexible.

For example, you could hide your resonance wireless charger underneath your desk, allowing a smartphone to sit atop and charge without needing a mat for it to sit on. Multiple device charging will also be supported, so you'll only need one transmitter under your desk to charge both your smartphone and tablet, assuming they're both within range.

Better yet, the new Qi standard is backwards compatible with existing devices, to an extent: a current Qi-compatible smartphone can be charged by a version 1.2 transmitter up to 35mm away.

WPC is confident that their resonance charging technology is more energy efficient than its competitors, and supported by a larger group of partners. The company didn't give an exact number, estimating it was 70-80% efficient, which is slightly lower than their 85% efficient inductive technology.

The first version 1.2 products will hit the market later this year. The specification also supports wirelessly charging kitchen appliances up to 2,000 watts; those devices will be ready in 2015.