There’s a new hotel opening up in New York City, and there’s a lot to like about it. While its collection of artwork, $18 million in renovations, 1905 landmark preservation status, and energy-saving HVAC system are all impressive selling points, its most enticing feature could be the fact that every room at Hotel Grand Union New York will come with an iPad, as well as wireless charging technology, thanks to Fli Charge.
Wireless charging technology has been slow to catch on. Android device manufacturers inconsistently implement the technology in smartphones and tablet, but when added there’s still a lot of downsides that don’t make the cordless feature worth it. Primarily, it hasn’t been as fast as plugging a device in, but that’s what Fli Charge claims it succeeds at — and it’s running an Indiegogo campaign to bring its slew of devices to market.
We covered Fli Charge when it launched its campaign mid-June, and with four days left it’s clearly a success — the company has raised nearly double its goal of $100,000. Fli Charge is different from other wireless charging manufacturers because it uses conductive technology rather than inductive. That means it’s able to deliver more power, allowing you to charge multiple devices all at the same speed as plugging your phone into a wall outlet.
Fli Charge’s suite of products start with a charging pad, of which you’ll find two in every room at the HGU New York. They will also be placed at the hotel’s lounge area, and to use it you’ll either have to purchase the smartphone case or you’ll be provided with Flicoins and Flicubes, which let you charge all kinds of other devices. Unfortunately the smartphone case is only built for a few devices, including Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple’s iPhone 6S, so you’ll have to opt for the corded Flicoin or Flicube if you have a device made by another manufacturer.
HGU New York, located on 34 E. 32nd St., is a backer of Fli Charge’s Indiegogo campaign, and the charging pads will be outfitted in every room when the devices launch to backers in the fall. Fli Charge president Cliff Weinstein tells Digital Trends that these devices are just the first step for the company, as it’s looking to move its technology into schools and furniture thanks to future partnerships with other companies. One of it’s game-changing plans is to integrate its charging solution into power tools at the OEM level so that anyone using them can simply place their tools down on a power mat to charge it. No more dealing with proprietary chargers.
Wireless charging could see a massive boost in interest later this year as the iPhone 7 is rumored to feature the technology. It would mark the first foray into wireless charging for Apple’s dominant product — which usually means the rest of the industry will likely begin consistently implementing it in their products as well. Fli Charge is expected to ship to its backers in October 2016, so we’ll have to see if its popularity will linger. The company is working on a case for the upcoming iPhone 7.