Prediction: A Chai Latte and a Charge Coming Soon

20
Nov. 2018

Prediction

Long-range wireless charging will become as prevalent as WiFi.

Public spaces will cut the cord and offer long-range wireless device charging. We will begin to see wireless charging rolled out in coffee shops, hotels and airports.. Consumers will start expecting long-range wireless charging to be available in public venues.

Rationale

Customers often look for ways to charge their phones when away from home. Coffee shops and other public venues are the perfect place to do so. Today, people look for open outlets and hope that they brought their charging cords with them.

Magnetic induction (“Qi” charging) has limitations. It does work with many modern phones. But, the charger needs to receive power from an electrical outlet. This is fine for fixed tables near the wall, but not for moving tables.

Coffee shop owners have an economic incentive to provide a charging solution. With charging, customers stay longer and buy more food. Customers might also prefer coffee shops that can charge their phones. If everything else was equal, wouldn’t you prefer a shop that offers phone charging to one that does not?

Charging solution have additional economic value. Some owners use them as advertising opportunities. Some offer charging to members of their loyalty club.

Precedent

The deployment of WiFi in public spaces is a good precedent for wireless charging. Modern shops post ‘Free WiFi’ sign on their doors to entice customers. By now, customers expect to remain connected when in public spaces. Wireless charging is next.

A chai latte and a charge? We predict charging will become a ‘must have’ feature within a few years.

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