Furniture designers are beginning to skip grommets, leaving surfaces plain for an expected fully wireless future.
Furniture designers are beginning to skip grommets, leaving surfaces plain for an expected fully wireless future.

A dramatic conference table series created for Okamura say much about the trend to simplicity in business furniture design seen at NeoCon 2015. But it says even more about how wiring will be handled in the office of the future: it may just disappear.

None other than the king of the grommet, Doug Mockett, said as much during a June 15 presentation on design trends at the Chicago NeoCon show. "If things keep going the way they are, it will put me out of business," Mockett said to a packed roomful of designers. He was describing for them the trend in wireless internet connection - pretty much a fait accompli - but the escalating trend to wireless charging.

With such systems, the wireless charging station can be affixed beneath the table, counter, desk, or shelf surface - with the power transmitted right through the surface. Propitiously, just before NeoCon, the two major standards of wireless charging merged, eliminating a VHS-Betamax tussle.

Then the FCC approved use of wireless charging devices (they use airwaves, in a resonant technology.). Resonant products allow users to wirelessly charge their smart phones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices without the need for "plugging-in" to a wall or other power outlet.

What this means to furniture designers is that the desk or work tabletop can be left pristine, a flat plain of beautiful wood or laminate.

As for Doug Mockett, he's pretty inventive. He'll probably figure out a way to organized those airwaves carrying the charge.

 

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