Wired for Wireless

Sometimes I write at coffee shops so that I feel social while conducting a rather anti-social task. Especially lately while I’ve been editing my scifi book day in day out.

One of these coffee trips is to Verve Coffee Roasters.The quest for coffee starts out impeccable. I score the last open parking spot right in front of Verve.

Then, I even get a good seat in the crowded interior. Score. Plus, the spot is right next to where I know there is an outlet to charge my laptop.

All is great, until, hold on a minute, the outlet is covered by one of those plain white, plastic non-conductive covers. I walk around to the other outlets, they are also covered.

“Excuse me, are there any outlets for charging?” I ask.

“No, sorry,” replies the employee. He doesn’t offer an explanation but I’m sure it’s to keep the crowd rolling. Coffee shop workers do have a tendency to stay put for hours on end with just one coffee. Here, there is limited space, so I understand.

I also begin to think of a way to beat the battery life limit. This is my part-time office space and I want my coffee purchase to guarantee a spot for as long as I am able to work.

A quick search brings up a couple options. My favorites are the Ikea NORDMÄRKE wireless charging pad, the RAV power charging pad, the fone salesman QiStone and table, and the Duracell PowerMatt. There are many other options.

Out of these few, only the QiStone by fone salesman doesn’t have to be plugged in while it charges a device. It can be charged first, then deliver a charge wirelessly to a second device later.

This is more of what I have in mind: the Qi Wireless Motherbox, or products from Witricity.

The Qi Wireless Motherbox does not require items to be placed directly on top of the charging device. It can charge up to four devices wirelessly as long as they are within a distance of 20″. The Qi Wireless Motherbox isn’t available quite yet, but soon!

Witiricty catches my attention because its products can be placed at a distance and charge through objects such as a wall or desk. I like the idea that I can place my laptop, phone, etc., on my desk to charge without the need to plug in. The charging device under the desk needs to be plugged in, but there is still a convenience offered.

While these options are great, what I have in mind is more along the lines of: coffee shops can provide charging services in the same way as wifi. Wireless chargers can be placed along the walls or under tables, wherever is convenient. They can have a login that, let’s say, costs $1/ hour that allows access to wireless charging. So there’s an extra however many $$ for the coffee shops to be gained from lingering coffee shop workers, and guests can conveniently charge their accessories without a jumble of trip-hazard wires.

My venture to Starbucks today for a 9pm latte is the best wireless charging experience so far. Starbucks has integrated powermats into seating areas so that customers can conveniently charge their phones wirelessly. Use of the powermat requires the download of the powermat app (fyi, I frown upon the privacy agreements required) and the insertion of a ‘ring’ in the base of the phone, and then a gentle tap on the screen to commence charge on the powermat.

Apparently it has been an issue that customers walk out of the shop without the return of the ring. I hope this results in new tech. that doesn’t require a ring rather than in powerless powermats. ​

Anyways, I’m so wired for wireless charging. Aren’t you? I’d love to hear about any neat wireless tech. you’ve come across!

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