Advances in technology have changed the way we live our lives in ways we could never have envisaged. At any point in time and at any location, a quick glance around will highlight our reliance on it - from the mobile phones we use all day to the cars we drive home in. And at the basis of all this, is power.
As a society, we have never been more reliant upon power than we are today; it informs decisions and outcomes in every facet of life. Thankfully, it is often close at hand, but how it is delivered has not evolved at the same pace as how we consume it. We are constantly on the move and the technological devices that are fundamental to the daily operations of our life are not static, but power is.
We should not be rushing around trying to find a free socket when our laptop runs low. We should not have a bag full of cables and we should not be feeling anxious when our phone goes dead. In fact, it should never go dead. And that, is the next technology that will change the world. A universal, free and accessible-to-all service that does for power what Wi-Fi did to internet connectivity.
Connected to our phones
Wireless charging is not new, it has in-fact been integrated in a number of devices in recent years and the technology dates back to the Palm in 2004. We are now reaching a tipping point in consumer adoption with major players like Apple integrating wireless charging into their new models, seamlessly bridging the gap between idea and execution.
The fact adults are spending almost eight hours each day immersed in media, driven by their use of smartphones underlines the need to be constantly 'powered up'. Consumers can no longer afford to be without their devices and the need for convenient power is at the forefront of their minds. This is reflected in the fact that for 29 per cent of us, wireless charging is now an "essential" phone feature. This demand has resulted in increased expectations for wireless charging - 73 per cent of people want the opportunity to use wireless charging away from home, helping make the wireless charging market set to be worth $25billion by 2023.
Cutting the cord
Wireless charging is an incredibly convenient way of powering the many portable devices available to us today. This is going to change how we shop, eat, and move around. Recent research found that people working in the London’s cafes are asked to charge customers’ phones around 20 times a day. Wireless charging stops this completely and in the same way you or I would choose a coffee shop because it has WiFi, soon you’ll choose them based on wireless charging.
But the benefits work both ways. Venues like coffee shops, bars, hotels and airports offering a wireless charging service will gain valuable insight into their customers’ behaviour. Businesses will understand more about their customers by analysing their behaviour from one particular store location and contextually engaging with them whilst they charge.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Longer-term, we’re likely to see wider adoption in other other sectors. Today, more than half a dozen large car makers, including BMW, Ford and Volvo, are soon expected to begin selling electric vehicles (EVs) that can be wirelessly charged. The world is going electric and electric is going wireless. The possibilities and permutations are endless and that’s why wireless charging is so exciting.