If CES 2013 was any indication, this would be the year companies attempt to make cables as obsolete as possible. We saw this with Qi Wireless, a company which developed chips for mobile phones and tablets so they would become seamlessly compatible with wireless charging surfaces. While Qi attempts to get phone manufacturers on board, one company is shifting the focus to make the charging surfaces the star of the show.
In a creative partnership, DuPont Building Innovation and the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) have teamed up to embed wireless charging solutions underneath everyday surfaces like kitchen countertops, tables, and desks. In one example, the PMA has installed a wireless charging chip under a granite worktop so phones can instantly charge as soon as they touch the surface. Some phones, like the Nexus 4 and Lumia 920, have wireless charging chips embedded already; others, such as the iPhone 5, may still need the help of accessories like the Duracell Powermat case to add that functionality.
“DuPont has been driving innovation for decades in the area of advanced materials. the collaboration between both company’s innovations marks another step forward in our vision to make smart wireless power a ubiquitous part of our lives,” PMA President Ron Resnick tells Designboom.
In the rendering, DuPont and PMA hopes customers will be able to choose countertop finishes and colors like they would ordinarily do with any home renovation. This wireless charging system would be pre-installed so that the added tech comes standard, giving way to an even smarter, cleaner home.
The kitchen would only be the start. If the two companies can figure out a way to make this work in larger scales – such as embedding it public spaces, school tables, office desk, to name a few – these surfaces will never require users to carry around wire chargers again. Imagine being a college student who can freely bring laptops to lectures without needing to find seats closest to the outlet, or quietly charging your phone while it’s resting on an armchair. Regardless of limited power outlets, you won’t have to choose which device charging more than others.
Pricing and availability information are not currently confirmed, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as we learn more.