Wireless Charging for the Workplace


With a shortage of sockets in an office, an employee is tempted to use a power board plugged into a power wall socket or into another power board; which is not good practice. There are a range of plug in chargers and leads which are required to accommodate all the mobile devices available; not all are safe!

The February 2016 Apple Recall Notice for certain two prong Apple AC wall plug adapters is still active. Many of the affected adapters are personal items brought into the workplace. It is rare not to see a power board in an office location with USB power adapters plugged in. In very rare cases adapters may break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched. Compare your adapter to the images below.

An affected wall plug adapter has 4 or 5 characters or no characters on the inside slot where it attaches to an Apple power adapter. Redesigned adapters have a 3-letter regional code in the slot (EUR, KOR, AUS, ARG or BRA).

A general solution to removing mobile phone chargers from the office is based on the Wireless Power Consortium which has a worldwide standard on wireless power for mobile devices up to 5W called "Qi". The Qi standard guarantees that any device carrying the Qi logo will work with any charging surface that carries the Qi logo, regardless of manufacturer or brand. Different types of devices can now be charged without having to use a charger. Phones that don’t have built-in wireless charging capabilities can use wireless charging accessories added to a device.

Since 2011 there are over 90 models of phones that are Qi-enabled from leading manufacturers; Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and others. In Dec 2017 Apple announced that iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus feature integrated wireless charging. Dell announced in July 2017 its Latitude 7285 laptop, which the company claims to be the world’s first laptop that can charge wirelessly.

“By integrating wireless chargers in to our table, desk and office space designs, customers

and employees are charging their devices at any time without having to take out separate chargers”.

Elizabeth Gradwell, founder of Gradwell Design, Sydney

With the increased power extension to the Qi charging standard, the next mainstream device to be wirelessly charged is the laptop, however with the higher power applications the roll out is looking slower than the smart phones. However, for mobile phones the technology is building momentum, offering easy-access power sources in desks and work spaces, minimising the appearance of unsightly cords and chargers for a more organised workspace.


Author: Neil Barrett is the manager at itemise and a Chamber member.  itemise provides asset inspection and monitoring services to organisations and businesses.





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