Sorry Stephen. As interesting as your charming quiz show is, it's no longer the most important Qi in our lives.

That honour goes to the new 'universal' wireless power system of the same name, announced yesterday by the Wireless Power Consortium.

The standard - currently at the 0.95 level for prototype testing - will enable manufacturers to share the same inductive coupling technology, which will work with any Qi-branded device.

Wishing for wireless

Ninety per cent of consumers surveyed by the Consortium said that they would like to see a uniform symbol placed on electronic devices to indicate that the devices are equipped with wireless power charging. Under the Consortium's plans, all electronic devices bearing the Qi symbol will be able to be charged on any charging pad or surface marked with the same Qi logo.

A majority of consumers surveyed said they would upgrade to wirelessly powered electronic devices, when they become available. The standard will be global in scope and would apply to low power devices that require 5 watts or less. This would include virtually all mobile phones and media players, and many compact cameras.

It's quick work for the Consortium, which was only formed last December. Key members of the Consortium include Olympus, Philips, Samsung, Sanyo and Duracell - a good selection of CE companies but by no means any guarantee that other gadgets makers will follow their lead. A blog entry on the Consortium website promised: "The tension between the different interests did not bog us down but sparked creativity." We'll watch developments with interest.

Oh, and as Mr Fry certainly knows, 'qi' is also the Chinese term for life or vital energy.