Samsung recently announced a new computer monitor with an in-built wireless charger in the base. The 23- and 27-inch monitors have a Qi-certified tightly coupled transmitter incorporated into the monitor stand, with a circular mark and confirmation LED to help the consumer to align their mobile device.
Availability and pricing for the new monitor has not yet been released by Samsung.
Combining a wireless charging transmitter into existing devices – especially ones which already need to be plugged into a power supply, and are used in convenient locations for charging devices – is a good step toward improving the use case for wireless charging overall. When using a standalone wireless charger, it still needs to be plugged in to the power supply, but for examples such as the Samsung monitor or the IKEA lamp (also with integrated Qi- transmitter) this is not the case.
The Samsung monitor also deviates from the currently more typical ‘charge at home’ use case. According to a new survey from IHS, 53% of all smart phone users say their work desk is the second most common location for them to charge their device – after their home. This could help wireless charging in two areas –charger cost and charging speed.
- In the IHS survey, consumers were asked how much they would be willing to pay for a standalone charger – with an answer of $22. Current chargers are typically more expensive, for example the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad retails at $49. However, combining functionality with a second device (e.g. monitor) reduces the perceived cost and could help increase adoption.
- A move in use case towards on-desk charging could ease concerns over charging speed compared to the cabled alternative. Amongst the 20% of smart phone owners who have used wireless charging, the most desired improvement focused on charging speed – although only 0.3% said they had been unhappy with their current system. Charging over longer periods at the desk means that charging speed is not as important.
For the full potential of wireless charging technology to be achieved, it must be a seamless and intuitive experience for the consumer – both at home and with any other infrastructure. An increase in adoption from non-standalone chargers will help to provide this experience. Recent product announcements show the direction of the industry in 2015: IKEA launched a range of lamps and bedside tables with integrated charger; BMW 7 Series and Audi A4 joined the likes of the Toyota Camry with an in-cabin wireless charging pad; and McDonalds and Starbucks continue to roll out wireless charging transmitters into sites across the United States and the United Kingdom.
IHS expects further announcements of wireless charging enabled products through the rest of 2015 and beyond, as manufacturers continue to build the eco-system for wireless charging and the accessory market looks to capitalise on the rise of enabled devices.