This post is a continuation of Fady’s speech at Wireless Power World 2012. Part 2 of the speech can be found here.
I believe it’s time to change the conversation. The incredibly low number of phones raised at the beginning of my talk (seen in my first blog) is still alarming me.
Ask any consumer if they would like some wireless power and watch their eyes light up as they say yes please!!!
Splashpower began in 2001 – over a decade ago and the WPC designed the most developed standard about 4 or 5 years ago. Why is the consumer market for wireless power not taking off in a big way? Everyone wants the stuff!
Now let’s ask a different question. Ask any consumer if they would like some contact-free power? The reaction you get is much less enthusiastic.
Our challenge as the wireless power industry in consumer electronics is that no one can make and sell real wireless power safely. And by real I mean real to the consumer, not our marketing departments. We all call it wireless power but be it tightly or loosely coupled, it is really contact-free power, and consumers aren’t getting as excited about that.
So how do we deal with this challenge?
Clearly, consumers want what we are telling them we are selling. Wireless power wins the first moment of truth – a customer walks into a shop, sees it for sale and says I gotta have that. They buy it, take it home, open it up and realize very quickly it’s not very wireless at all. Not their view of wireless anyway.
Our name is a play on Power by Proximity for a reason.
Today there is a hurdle in the mind of the consumer. They want and expect wireless power to be like wireless data. Science experiments showing quantum’s of power being transferred over room lengths fuel those expectations but are nothing more than wireless trickery – nothing based on magnetic resonance or inductive power (which are actually the same thing) will be safe around humans at such distances.
The whole industry is now finally trending towards more loosely coupled solutions. It represents a small move towards meeting the consumer expectation, but it’s not enough.
For this market to really take off we must also change the conversations we are having with consumers.
We need to give consumers solutions that are derived from an restriction in the design envelope – one that is at complete odds with the consumer expectation. “Wireless Power” is a proximity based system. It will never be the “wireless” consumers think is wireless.
So if we can’t give consumers truly wireless power what can we give them?
What value or benefit do we sell customers?
How do we change the conversations we are having with customers?
From our research and many of our customer’s research into the consumer market:
- Customer’s love the ability to recharge multiple devices in one place and not have dozens of ugly wall warts all around the house – the industry is finally trending towards this which is fantastic and there is a good ‘green angle’ here too
- Today’s batteries are insufficient for the devices they run. They love the idea of being able to universally charge their devices wherever they are and wherever they go. Ubiquitous access to energy is the dream. Wireless power can do this however so can every device manufacturer adopting USB. Ubiquitous access to energy is becoming a harder selling point for wireless power.
- They love the idea of not having to dispose of batteries or constantly have to remove batteries to charge them.
- They love the idea of not having the charging socket on the phone get looser and looser with wear and tear eventually failing over time.
- They love the idea of more intelligent power and value added services and applications around the charging experience.
More on what we are doing in my next blog…