Is It Time for Wireless Charging in Your Hotel?
When A Wireless World?
This past June I moved into a new apartment and saw it as an opportunity to “declutter” and live a more minimalist lifestyle. (Yes, I am a tried and true Millennial) While sorting through my stuff to decide what was a keeper and what I should get rid of, I was shocked and slightly appalled by the number of different cables I had. HDMI cords, lighting cables, micro USB cables, and more - I literally had an entire tangled up box full.
Imagine a world without wires; A world where everything just works and there is no need to plug devices in. That’s a little ways off, but we’re getting closer. We talk on cordless and wireless phones now and we don’t need to plug in for dial up modems. And if you’re not already, soon you’ll be able to wirelessly charge your phone and other personal tech gear.
Near Field Now, Far Field Far Out
Qi is the standard for charging mobile devices wirelessly. Near field, inductive charging is the technology behind Qi. Inductive electric currents were first discovered when passing magnets through a coil. It’s been around for decades and it’s been used by many of us to charge our electric toothbrush. Near-field energy transfer requires docking or contacting your device with a charging pad.
Several companies are at work on Far-Field wireless charging which will allow you to charge your phone across the room without having to set it down or plug anything in. This technology would be a major milestone towards a wireless world, however some hurdles have many industry leaders believing this is about 10 years out.
Point being, a world without cables, or significantly less cables, is well within reach. While the Far-Field Charging mentioned may not be here for quite sometime, the advancements being made with Near Field Wireless Charging are worth getting excited about.
Qi Is the Standard
Remember, wireless charging has been around for years, but only a fraction of devices supported it, and the ones that did were split between rival standards - The Wireless Power Consortium (Qi) and the Airfuel Alliance. But as Gizmodo writes “The Battle Between Wireless Charging Standards Comes to a Merciful End”. And let’s face it, the really big news with wireless charging… Apple announcing late last year that the iPhone 8/X will support Qi; so effectively a new universal standard of charging is upon us. Or, as The Wire put it, “Qi becomes the switzerland of charging, as uncontroversial and universally embraced as WiFi”.
Apple has long been a master at creating demand for new technology, even if that technology isn’t exactly “new”. There’s no reason to think this trend won’t continue with wireless charging. In fact many believe that wireless charging is the final step toward removal of the last physical connector on the phone. Apple has been pushing consumers away from physical media and cables for quite sometime - first with the removal of the CD drive, then the headphone jack, and today's macbook have far fewer ports than past models. So maybe a world without cables is not such a fantasy after all.
Qi Is Now, Are You Ready?
Savvy hotelier's are following these developments and asking themselves - is wireless charging a worthwhile investment right now? How many phones even support it? Is it really going to take off? All good questions. And now the answer is “the time is now.”
With Apple joining Samsung and others, around 85% of all phones sold this year will be Qi compatible. Consider this - there will be an estimated 1 billion devices that support Qi wireless charging by 2020. We are at the beginning of a wireless revolution that will fundamentally change how we charge our phones. Soon restaurants, bars, and of course - hotel guest-rooms will be littered with wireless charging pads. Think about it like this, soon just setting your phone down will be synonymous with getting a charge. Powerful stuff, huh?
Soon millions of guests will leave their cables behind and check into your hotel looking for a friendly place to set down for a charge. So the answer is yes, wireless charging is most certainly a worthwhile investment for your hotel, especially if the solution is universal... one that keeps good old USB ports together with the new Qi wireless charging feature. That’s something that all guests will appreciate today and for many years to come.
Good, because no matter how many charging cables I get, my wife and I always seem to be stuck sharing the one cable we remembered when we travel. Plus why would I want to fumble around in the dark for a charging cable when I can just set my phone down? Wireless charging is just easier.