So what are we doing?
We are having conversations with customers about these of sorts of benefits rather than a vision of wireless power they think is not really wireless, or a vision of wireless power that can never see the commercial light of day because of safety. Our blog has numerous topics on the subject. We are changing the conversation we are having with CE customers.
As I mentioned we have also been working closely with device companies, semiconductor companies and battery companies to deliver define and deliver a new kind of wireless power experience.
You may have seen our Integrated charging solution for smartphones and tablets – Proxi-2D. An actual pad transmitter, capable of charging 2 or more smart phones with integrated receivers in absolutely any position/orientation on the surface.
And our In-Device Wirelessly Rechargeable Battery solution (Proxi-3D) – an industry first 3 dimensional charging system that allows complete flexibility in x, y AND z. Allowing the user to drop and go ANY device they wish to recharge at the same speed as a wired charger, regardless of where in the box the device is placed. The AA battery has a fully integrated wireless power receiver occupying a tiny amount of the battery’s chemistry.
As a company I believe we have been successful in the industrial space because we have focused on solving real problems for real customers. We make things safer, more reliable, and more cost effective for them. When we founded the company, wireless power was and is a means to that end.
As an industry, I don’t believe we are yet solving real problems for real customers in the consumer space. Wireless power is a very short range technology. That is a design envelope that cannot be moved (not safely anyway). All customer benefit must be derived from that fundamental constraint.
We need to change the conversation we are having with consumers to one that focuses on the benefits we can bring rather than the one the industry can never deliver.
Only then can the industry start to win the 2nd moment of truth.
In a world where everything is connected… wireless power is the next major platform!
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:
More on what we are doing in my next blog…
You know, the funny thing is, wireless power is the oldest new technology ever. The University of Auckland has been a Wireless Power Centre of Excellence since the 1980s when it started developing real customer solutions. My Professor John Boys filed our first patents in 1991. We regard John as the Godfather of wireless power.
Our CTO, Dr Patrick Hu moved to Auckland from Xian specifically to study wireless power at Auckland. He too has trained many of our PhD’s.
PowerbyProxi was spun-out from The University of Auckland. Today, at the time of writing we have over 125+ patents with over 900+ claim (real patents, protecting real products I should add).
Many of you will be familiar with HaloIPT – which Qualcomm recently acquired. Like us, HaloIPT was also a University of Auckland spin-out. Now just to clear up some confusion, HaloIPT or now Qualcomm has an exclusive license to the University of Auckland’s wireless power portfolio, for use in the field of recharging electric vehicles.
In addition to our own portfolio, PowerbyProxi has an exclusive license to the same Univ. of Auckland portfolio but for all consumer electronics devices, semiconductors and batteries (in addition to several other industrial application fields).
Who remembers early pioneers Splashpower? So as a company, we took a different path and chose to focus on unplugging the power cable in wet, dirty and moving industrial applications whilst maturing our technology to the point we believed consumers would embrace.
We have leveraged this experience building solutions for the most difficult and demanding industrial applications in the consumer space.
We’ve miniaturized our loosely coupled wireless power
Recently I gave a talk at the Wireless Power World conference and expo in Shanghai, which PowerbyProxi was proud to be the lead sponsor for.
As the first Wireless Power Industry Gathering in China, this was a very important show in what will undoubtedly soon become the world’s largest smart phone market.
My speech was titled “the power to unplug, beyond theory”
To start off, I asked the audience a question, the answer to which still baffles me.
I asked “Who has wireless recharging ability integrated in their cellphone right at this moment?”
7 people raised their hands. Yes 7!!! Out of 250 participants! I thought momentarily, am I at the right conference? Is this Wireless Power World 2012? Surely if we were going to find early adopters, it was here.
Alas, it was true. I thought to myself, if these guys don’t eat their own dog food, how do they expect consumers to adopt wireless power? How can they design better solutions if they don’t have first-hand experience using the existing solutions?
I then asked a second question “for those of you with your phones up, who has a wireless power transmitter that can recharge all your devices at any position on the transmitter?”
I think I counted 4 hands in response to that question.
Since Greg Cross and I founded the company, those 2 questions have encompassed our belief of the minimum definition of wireless power for a consumer device.
Fady is the CEO and co-founder of PowerbyProxi – this post is part of a series which will be featured on the blog covering Fady’s speech at Wireless Power World 2012