If you’re like me and love technology but hate the rats nest of cables it requires, we could be in for some good news. Intel has demonstrated a system that could be incorporated into future computers that allows wireless connectivity for power, displays, and connection to accessories like external drives.

Wireless charging is nothing new, of course, but existing systems are something of a mess. They rely on inductive charging, which is ultra-short range and only suited to low-power devices like smartphones, and there are several competing and incompatible systems in use.

The new system demo’d by Intel uses magnetic resonance charging, which can cope with the power demands of laptops, and works through up to two inches of wood – meaning that the charging plate can be hidden out of sight under a desk. The same charging plate can also charge multiple devices simultaneously, so a single installation under your desk could potentially power your Mac, iPad, iPhone and wireless headset.

For wireless connection to displays and accessories, Intel uses the Wireless Gigabit Alliance system WiGig, which allows speeds of up to 7Gbps over a distance of a few feet – good enough for a completely wireless desk, and rendering my home-brewed iDesk redundant.

The technology will be supported by Skylake, a chip that is currently two generations down the road, and likely to first appear in laptops in 2016. Apple has not yet signed-up, but Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Logitech, Panasonic and Toshiba are all on board, so it is likely just a matter of time.

(Via CNET)

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13 Responses to “Future Macs could lose the cables as Intel demos next-generation wireless charging, docking & displays”

  1. You lose the cable to mac, and you now have charging pad, and a cable to the charging pad…


    • Exactly, but these cables can bidden underneath the desk – the mess of cables lying around on the desk will be eliminated and that´s great!

      It´s like WiFi – you don´t have to plug in an ethernet cable when you come to your desk


    • Tim Jr. says:

      No plugging or unplugging, no cables to move around or fall off your desk or get in your way. If you’re not pugging, unplugging, your not causing wear and tear on the cables that normally fray and break..

      If it is compatible will a single standard.. you only need ONE charging pad, which means ONE charging cable instead of 3,4,5 or 6 cables… So, you won’t require multiple adaptors for charging your tablet, phone, laptop, etc.. You also loose the need for replacing batteries for Wireless mouse and Wireless Keyboard..

      Whole host of reasons for it..

      Then you just carry one ‘travel’ charger in your to-go bag to keep any devices you need charged going..


  2. What type of lag is there on this WiGig technology? Anyone have experience with it?


  3. You’ll still need a cable for high resolution displays. 7Gbit won’t support 4K and doesn’t come close to the capacity afforded by multi-lane Display Port nor Thunderbolt.


  4. Mark Granger says:

    If you put your head on the wireless charging desk, will it will blow your mind?


  5. I’m not really fond of *yet another* set of electromagnetic signals messing with our body composition and energy.

    I understand that is is “small stuff” for many people, but it isn’t for a growing amount of other people. I also do hate cable clutter, but there’s a few of them I’d rather live with than not.


  6. Great for cancer too !


  7. I assume that devices we already own won’t be charged wirelessly. We will need to upgrade laptops, phones, earphones, etc to take advantage of this tech.


  8. Didn’t 9to5Mac report a while back that Apple would never use charging pads, as they were redundant. ‘Eliminating the devices need for a cable, just to create a new device that needs one.’ The article as I remember it, talked about how this made Apple better than all the rest.

    I sincerely hope that Apple does not use this technology. One alternative that was predicted by an analyst discussing the iWatch, here on 9to5Mac was true Wireless Charging. Either through the Airport line-up of products, or something separate, would be a so-called “Long Distance Wireless Charger.” It would charge products within 30 feet of the ‘power router.’ The analyst of course predicted it would only be effective enough to power the iWatch at first, over time iPhones, iPads would be added to this, eventually moving to other devices.

    Heck, Nicola Tesla was working on delivering direct current power from the grid wirelessly. Our entire homes would have antenna to pick up the wireless power. Small repeaters would exist in homes and business to act as step-down transformers and transmitters.

    This is what we want.