Dan Bladen, Co-Founder & CEO of Chargifi reveals insight into consumer expectations around wireless charging and the state of wireless technology.
We live in an era where our mobile devices – smartphones, laptops, tablets – are central to our everyday lives: we are said to touch our phones at least 150 times a day. Ordering a taxi, food or a holiday is possible at the touch of a button or swipe of a screen – wherever we are and at whatever time of day. Ever since the launch of the iPhone, just ten short years ago, this has become normal. However, all of this is dependent on having a device that works and so, as consumers, we are constantly in pursuit of power to remain fully charged. Whether it is borrowing cables from colleagues or stashing battery packs in our bags, battery life is a modern-day anxiety.
To meet this demand the world going wireless. Analyst estimates vary, but the wireless charging industry is set to be worth somewhere between $13.7billion by 2020 and $22.3 billion by 2022. This year wireless charging receivers are expected to ship in around 500 million devices, and surpassing 1.5 billion come 2022. In recent weeks, Apple announced that its new range of iPhones (the 8, 8 Plus and X) will all come with built-in wireless charging capabilities, allowing consumers to cut the cord and embrace a wireless world.
On the day of the iPhone 8 & 8 Plus launch, we headed to the queue at the Covent Garden Apple store, to find out how significant this move to a wireless world is for consumers, the demand for wireless charging facilities and how it will affect their daily lives.
According to the queue insight, on a daily basis 58% of smartphone users typically run out of battery before 5pm. On average, this means consumers could be without their smartphone for over 7 hours a day. For many though, being without power is not an option and each week 56% of consumers seek a phone charging facility outside of their homes. The most likely location that they currently charge their phones is at work, 65%.
The fact that consumers can no longer afford to be without their devices and the need for convenient power is at the forefront of their minds – reflected in our findings that 29% revealed wireless charging is now an “essential” phone feature. This demand has resulted in increased expectations for wireless charging – 73% of those surveyed wanting the opportunity to use wireless charging away from home in the immediate future. And when it comes to the top three locations, consumers would most welcome wireless charging in restaurants/cafes (20%), airport lounges (20%) and workspaces (20%).
This research proves that the future is wireless. The power cable is the last cable to be cut! People are looking for convenient and effortless power to enable them to carry on living their lives via their phones. Expect to quickly see wireless charging becoming as widely adopted as Wi-Fi in public places over the coming months and years.
The opportunity that exists for wireless charging and the impact on businesses is far reaching – on one level it meets consumer demand and, secondly, for businesses it provides a simple way to deliver an impactful value-add, both in terms of customer experience and as a competitive differentiator.
Looking further ahead, for some businesses it won’t just be about offering wireless charging as a service but also about how they can monetise their wireless charging investment and understand more about their customers during the charging experience. This will allow brands to customise wireless charging into their own brand application to serve hyperlocal content and maximise the customer experience.
Looking even further beyond that, we will begin to see an array of products with the ability to charge wirelessly. We are already seeing early signs of this in other industries, such as the automotive sector. Mercedes-Benz is set to start selling a version of its hybrid S-class that can be charged wirelessly, simply by parking it on top of a charging surface. BMW are set to do the same early next year. Wireless charging will also prove crucial for self-driving vehicles which won’t have a human driver to get out of the car and plug a charging wire in.
All of this opportunity is on the brink of being a mass market reality following Apple’s reveal of the latest iPhones in September. Although there are already a number of phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, the LG V30, as well as a Dell laptop integrating wireless charging – when Apple does something the rest of the world seems to stand up and take notice.
Chargifi delivers the market-leading cloud management platform that enables the mass deployment of wireless charging; the patented solution turns wireless power into a service that adds real value for businesses. Chargifi brings wireless charging to public spaces in stadiums, restaurants, bars, hotels, co-working spaces and offices across the Europe, the US and Asia.