- For Visionaries
- For Visionaries
Imagine a world in which the only transport options are planes and bicycles. It’s a perfectly fine world otherwise, but if you need to get a package from one place to the other, these are your only options.
Send a package from San Francisco to Stanford? A bike could work. Send a package from San Francisco to Tokyo? A plane is great. San Francisco to Sacramento? Unless you want to bike for over 7 hours, a plane is your only option. In these middle distances, between what’s practical with a bike and what’s economical with a plane, a third option is missing.
The thing is, no one knows a third option is missing, so everyone gets by and works around the available limitations.
Then cars are introduced. All of a sudden, new options exist. San Francisco to Sacramento in 2 hours. Ridesharing. Delivering a package in difficult weather. Taking a family with 3 kids to the movies. While it might not have been obvious a third option was needed, it is now as clear as day. The car does not replace the bike or the plane – they still have plenty of uses – but it provides a very compelling alternative in many cases.
Now, let’s replace “package” with “power” and talk about the third way of power delivery.
The two existing options – the bike and the plane – are the battery and the power cord. The battery gives you portability but limited power. Cords give you power but limited portability. Product designers today have to make do with one of these options, just like one had to choose between a bike and a plane in our thought experiment.
The third option – the new option – is wireless power. It can deliver hundreds or thousands of time more power than batteries, yet there is no need to connect the device to a power cord. Wireless power does not replace the battery or the power cord – they still have plenty of uses – but it provides a very compelling alternative in many cases.
Product designers are taking notice and are starting to imagine new devices and experiences that were not possible before.