Wireless charging is about convenience and productivity


If you had to list the top five workplace technology trends for the coming year, you’d probably pretty quickly come up with connected devices, voice-activated technologies, augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI).

What would be the fifth item? According to 2,000 U.K. office workers surveyed recently by Workthere, a global consultant to organizations looking for flexible office space, the answer would be “wireless charging.”

“With more than a fifth of office workers surveyed (21.1 percent) stating that wireless charging is the way forward when it comes to office tech, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a surge in the adoption of this technology in offices across the UK in 2019,” Workthere said in a blog post. “No longer will workers have to hunt down the nearest plug socket to power up. With charger pads embedded within desks and meeting spaces, both employees and clients will remain connected with increased flexibility around the office. This could be particularly prevalent in co-working, where hot-desks can provide simple wireless charging units on the desk.”

Granted, relative to transformative technologies such as AI, the internet of things (IoT), voice assistants, and AR, wireless charging may sound less transformative than incremental. But being able to ensure your work devices are sufficiently charged is about more than convenience — it’s also a productivity issue. This is especially the case if you’re out of the office and have to shut down your smartphone because the battery is too low.

No doubt, we’ve come a long way in terms of providing ways to keep mobile devices charged. Many people now use small portable chargers, for example. Not everyone does though, and those who do use portable chargers have one more thing to lug around if they’re on the go. Similarly, some mobile devices (not all) can be charged using wireless charger pads. And a lot of device owners simply don’t want to spend more on accessories. (That being said, charging pads have dropped in price quite a bit.)

But none of that does an enterprise employee any good if they are out of the office for a big meeting and forget their charging cord, portable charger, or charging pad. Fortunately, a growing number of public places offer remote device users access to wireless charging pads. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these are located in and around big cities.

The next step beyond charging pads that require contact with the device is long-distance wireless charging. Companies such as Wi-Charge, Ossia, and Energous are expected to roll out debut products in 2019 for consumers and enterprises. Long-distance wireless charging should be of particular interest and value to organizations with IoT devices that run on batteries.

In a world where cords and cables increasingly are viewed as inconvenient limitations, wireless charging is the future.

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