Google puts its wireless charging stake in the ground

What many don’t know is that Google was an early adopter of wireless charging in its Nexus series and whilst the technology remained on the sidelines for the first and second-gen Pixels, it’s back with a vengeance. Google’s decision to not only integrate wireless charging into its flagship product but to bundle it with a smart, wireless charging stand, signifies something much bigger – the tech giant’s commitment to a wireless world.

It’s no understatement to say that the Pixel Stand is one of the smartest commercial wireless chargers on the market. It does more than charge without cords, the stand’s functionality transforms your phone’s user interaction (UI).

Google is the last of the big western OEMs to commit to wireless charging technology, contributing to an industry-wide move to all things wireless and redefining consumer expectation on powering-up. It says it has brought back wireless charging because the technology is at a point where speeds are sufficient enough to make wireless a compelling alternative to traditional charging. Both Apple and Google have fueled the demand for ubiquitous wireless charging this Autumn– a trend that is only set to continue as competitors bring new products to the market.

It has been rumoured that Samsung will also announce a shift in focus towards bringing new features, like wireless charging, to mid-range phones first before the higher end flagships. We expect to see its competitors follow-suit to meet demand and to prevent loyal consumers being priced out of the latest innovations.

The arrival of Google’s offering, Pixel Stand, is an important piece of the jigsaw in the brand’s strategy and represents the company’s intention to make its stamp in the market. When the phone connects to the stand, it triggers access to a series of features that transform the phone into something which resembles a smart display, giving the user easy, seamless access to Google Assistant, a cover art photo album of all your favourite photos, and integration with the user’s smart-home integration with services like the Nest Hello doorbell cam.

Google made a brave nod to our love affair with technology. One of its solutions is the Pixel Stand - a thoughtful, personal piece of technology and one that it hopes will enable users to enjoy the offline aspects of their life, the things that really matter.

Whilst these features are key at transforming user experience (UX), the real gem of the Pixel 3 is not just its ability to recognise the Pixel Stand itself, but its ability to tell the difference between specific units. Let’s look at it like this – you may want Google Assistant to remind you of your schedule at home, but when you’re out on a much-needed date night, you’d prefer not to have reminders popping up on your Pixel when it’s on a generic Qi charger. Google has built its own solution - of course - by embedding a data stream within the wireless charging signal that enables users to pair their phone with particular charges, specifying rules for each.

Reigniting its wireless offering is a solid commitment from Google, but introducing a smart feature that none of us were expecting, is a monumental shift that provides companies with an opportunity to monetise on a new service that customers really need. All the signs are that businesses are waking up to the fact that wireless charging is here. Hoteliers, retail businesses and workplaces are integrating wireless charging into their spaces as a response to growing consumer expectations and demand.