Chargifi Ltd., a U.K.-based maker of wireless mobile device charging software, and consumer electronics giant Belkin International have forged an alliance aimed at helping MSPs implement and support large-scale wireless charging deployments.
The agreement essentially turns Chargifi’s cloud-based platform, which includes tools for monitoring, analyzing, and integrating wireless charging stations, into a centralized management portal for Belkin’s BOOSTUP charging spots at multiple customer sites.
“This partnership is a marriage of market-leading hardware and an industry-leading cloud platform to help managed service providers get [wireless charging] to scale,” says Chargifi CEO Dan Bladen.
Available in the U.S. and Latin America since last July, Chargifi is distributed exclusively in that territory through Ingram Micro Inc. Channel pros who order Belkin BOOSTUP products via Ingram can now purchase and pay for Chargifi solutions as well on the same contract for what Bladen, without citing specific prices, characterizes as a modest additional fee.
“It’s very competitive with standard wireless charging hardware without any smart capabilities,” he says.
Adoption of wireless charging is growing rapidly, and Allied Market Research expects global spending on wireless charging technology to explode from $5.2 billion last year to $71.2 billion in 2025. According to Bladen, consumers will soon expect wireless charging to be available at bars, restaurants, hotels, and other public places, and shun businesses that don’t supply it.
“Wireless charging is becoming a must-have like Wi-Fi was a few years ago,” he says.
To meet those expectations, however, businesses need installation and support assistance from MSPs. Those MSPs, in turn, need centralized, cloud-based monitoring and management tools. Just as it took cloud management solutions from Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Aruba unit, Cisco Meraki, and Ruckus Networks, among others, to make wireless networking ubiquitous at airports, stadiums, and coffee houses, Bladen argues, so too will it take cloud management solutions like Chargifi’s to make wireless charging all but universally available as well.
“If we’re going see wireless charging at Starbucks, McDonalds, Hilton hotels, restaurants, airports, you name it, we believe it has to be cloud-managed, and now the industry is starting to recognize this,” Bladen says. Belkin’s partnership with Chargifi, he continues, is the latest reflection of that growing consensus.
The Chargifi platform includes three core components. Chargifi SmartSpots are 15W wireless charging devices equipped with real-time analytics software for measuring utilization, dwell times, and other statistics. MSPs can use that data to help clients optimize the placement of charging hardware and measure ROI.
Chargifi Manage is a consolidated point of control for SmartSpots offering real-time status information on operating temperature, connectivity, and power delivery, among other attributes. Chargifi Connect is an API-based tool for linking Chargifi implementations with third-party solutions. A Connect-based integration between the Chargifi platform and the Zoom meeting room solution, for example, allows employees to activate a videoconference automatically by placing their phone on a Chargifi SmartSpot.
Users buy SmartSpots through a one-time upfront payment. Both Manage and Connect are subscription-based products that MSPs pay for through monthly payments, just as they bill their customers.