There was news this week regarding a multi-standard wireless charging chip that is being introduced by the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) that is all set to be released. This means that there is new ground being broken in the world of wireless charging; and it’s reported to be available at a lower cost than originally expected. These charging docks will be made with a new chipset, and will charge any wireless phones or tablets, regardless of the wireless standard. With the new Rezence technology that has been created, wireless chargers now have the ability to travel through surfaces such as wood and plastic. This technology can also travel through objects as well. With the news of affordable wireless charging on the horizon, there is much talk of new ways to use it.
About a year ago, a YouTube video hit the internet that showed how to turn a regular IKEA nightstand into a wireless charging nightstand. The design seems pretty simple. Take a normal nightstand, cut a rectangle in the bottom and drop a wireless charging dock inside of it and voila. The cost of creating such a nightstand is about $70, not much more than a regular nightstand from IKEA. This type of furniture is slated to be the next big thing.
A multi-standard wireless chip can be easily incorporated into coffee tables, side tables, kitchen tables and other types of furniture. A wireless charging dock can be added to existing furniture by retrofitting the dock directly underneath the surface; it looks to be pretty easy.
There are over two dozen test Starbucks stores in Boston, Mass. that have wireless-charge mats available. It’s easy to envision this sort of innovation at a mammoth chain like that, but now this gives the option to little mom and pop coffee shops and hole-in-the wall restaurants too.
Why stop there? If you have been a bartender, you know the sheer hell of having twenty different drunk people a night ask you to plug their phone in behind the bar. Most bars do not have wall plugs available for this, forcing patrons to bother the bartender. What about a wireless bar? Then customers could just plop their phone down in front of them and charge it themselves. This could be the wave of the future.
The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) is a non-profit organization made up of several large corporations like Intel and Samsung that want to build a “global wireless charging ecosystem.” It sounds like they are pretty close to making this happen.
Wireless charging still requires a charging case for most phones and tablets, at least for right now. This is one of the only drawbacks to this new technology. The wireless charging cases will make your phone a bit longer and a bit heavier as well. If this technology really starts to take off, we can expect more phone manufactures to get on board with internal wireless cards. Currently a few brands incorporate wireless charging technology directly into their phones. The most popular manufacturers have yet to get on board though. Whether they do or not will make a good prediction of whether the new technology will really be sustainable, or if it’s just a flash in the pan.