Proving that they’re not always chasing Apple, Samsung has released a unique monitor with a wireless charging feature. Smartphones equipped with the Qi wireless charging standard can be placed onto the center of their SE370 monitor’s base, and the juice will flow, absent cables.
I love the idea, and I’m glad Samsung was the first to create one; although I’m a devout Apple user myself, as I’ve written before I believe that these two giants motivating each other to innovate can only be good for consumers.
That being the case, I still see some 1.0-ishness in this design. First off it wouldn’t work for me, as I’m a laptop user who positions my external monitor directly behind my laptop screen and elevated for clearance. To get to my phone I’d have to lower the laptop screen each time.
So let’s imagine that I’m one of the desktop users this monitor is designed for. This monitor’s charger features a flat design, as most wireless charging stands do, requiring you to lay the phone down on it horizontally. I think that’s fine for a nightstand situation, but not appropriate for a workstation.
If I’m at my desk, I want the phone within my peripheral vision at all times. If it’s missing because I left it in the breakroom or in my coat where I can’t hear it ring, I want to discover that sooner rather than later.
And with the phone on my desk, I want the screen tilted up and facing me. If I forgot to turn the ringer back on after a meeting and a call comes in, I want to see the screen flashing. Or if I’m on a videoconference and a text comes in I’d been waiting for, I want to be able to read it at a glance rather than leaning forward and craning my head, communicating to the others that I’m not paying attention.
These wants or needs, which I assume I’m not alone in, speak of a form factor that isn’t flat. I get that wireless charging is about minimalism and making the “dock” as unobtrusive as possible. But I’d prefer the charging mechanism be elevated and angled into a kind of cradle, to place the phone’s screen at a more visible angle.
As for it being integrated into a monitor, I’m all for it if the designers can figure out the right form factor. And lastly, I’d wish for it to be off to the side, so we laptop users wouldn’t obscure it with our primary screens.
The bottom line is I’m glad Samsung is pushing this initiative, and I eagerly await the 2.0 version.