Wireless charging offers users a futuristic way to keep their mobile devices juiced, but it's easy to forget that this technology is actually over a century old. According to CIO, Nikola Tesla pioneered the science of wireless energy transfer at the turn of the 20th century when he powered 200 light bulbs with 100 million volts from a distance of over 25 miles without a single wire between. However, as many Tesla fans are quick to note, since this groundbreaking experiment, no one has been able to replicate his accomplishment to the same degree.
But only time will tell. Many technology vendors have been toying with cutting the cord on their products, which means customers may soon reap the benefits. What advantages would the average office glean from wireless electricity?
One benefit to a wire-free future is quite obvious: Fewer wires.
As desk jockeys surely understand, wires hooked up to their computers and other devices tangle, bend at odd angles, take up space and collect pounds of dust. Good riddance. Without them, day-to-day operations will be less hampered and supervisors would be free to explore a more transient in-house seating chart. Imagine: If employees wanted to move to a new location, they could just pick up and go without having to reconnect wires or find an outlet.
Electricity in the air
Before we step into tomorrow, we need to examine today's limitations. Any wireless charging capabilities already on the market require physical contact between the energy transmitter and the device. However, part of the appeal tied into wireless charging is how power can become as ethereal and untethered as WiFi. It's not enough that wires go extinct – wireless charging technology will completely change how people perceive energy, especially how it flows throughout a company.
Soon, businesses can truly operate on-the-go without a single lost step due to a dead device. Additionally, according to Battery University, wireless charging won't strain a device's contacts, prolonging the life and electrical efficiency of the office equipment. Budgets need not allocate significant funds toward maintenance and replacement tech.
With wireless energy transfers also comes better workplace regulation over the technology present. When deployed in an office environment, businesses can depend on wireless charging capabilities to help monitor technology use and keep track of physical assets more intelligently. Like WiFi, companies can make employees and guests adhere to certain guidelines if they wish to take advantage of wireless charging, thus securing their office network. As Fortune reported, this technology also has implications on the sales floor, creating a new channel through which businesses can accommodate and communicate with their customers.
"Wireless charging affords businesses an opportunity to rein in their utility bills."
Power in the socket, money in the pocket
Lastly, wireless charging affords businesses an opportunity to rein in their utility bills. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts the commercial sector will consume around 3.79 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity every day in 2016. Whereas the residential and industrial sectors have plateaued in recent years, commercial energy consumption is up 110 million kilowatt-hours over 2013.
Creating a viable energy efficiency plan starts with accurate, malleable data, the kind that could be potentially gleaned from a wireless energy management network. Offices can keep track of their overall consumption and target specific areas where oversight or improvement is necessary without an intermediary device to plug into.
But don't get too used to the word "plug." It might not be around for much longer.
Office technology industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.