What are the key trends and opportunities around the future of USB charging?

  • There is no denying that consumer usage and dependency on smartphones, tablets, and other battery-operated devices is exponentially rising, resulting in a rapid increase in demand for fast charging USB technology. 

For contractors, an opportunity is being created to advise and service these changing customer needs, as well as upsell the latest USB charging technology. David Cleaver, Head of Product Management at BG Electrical – part of Luceco plc – considers trends and opportunities for contractors as we look to the future of USB charging.

Emerging trends

To understand the future of USB charging, it is important to look at emerging trends. According to Ofcom’s Online Nation 2020 report, 82% of the UK population now use a smartphone, with 52% owning a tablet. There is further, albeit unsubstantiated data, that puts smartphone ownership at over 90% in 2021. 

This comes as little surprise, but what is driving this device dependency? Firstly, changing working patterns have had a significant impact. With the rise in flexible and mobile working, coupled with working from home, the demand for accessible technology in residential and commercial spaces has meant we need and want to use our devices more than ever before.

With people carrying an unprecedented number of devices, and dependency on these devices growing, this leads to a new experience; ‘charge anxiety’. This describes the stress or anxiety experienced by individuals when their devices are running low on battery, with no access to a charging facility.

Independent research commissioned by BG Electrical found that 68% of people have experienced worry, concern, stress, or anxiety over an electronic device running out of battery while outside of the home. 

Opportunities for the contractor

These established and emerging trends are creating an undeniable demand for fast USB charging. For the contractor, this opens up an opportunity to look for settings where having a fast USB charging wall socket would reduce these anxieties, help people feel more settled, and for commercial venues to attract paying customers.

Looking at the residential environment, we see an increased demand within the home to charge multiple devices at the same time, as well as faster and easier charging. This has become even more prevalent with the rise of home working and the uplift in the number of devices we each own and use.

In the commercial sector, high-footfall venues present a significant opportunity. From coffee shops, pubs and restaurants, to hotels, conference venues and airports, having access to a fast USB charging socket is a selling point. As society becomes increasingly digital, and staying connected being critical, offering the ability to conveniently charge devices and in turn reduce ‘charge anxiety’, could be key to attracting paying customers. 

Choosing the right fast charging technology

Something for contractors to consider is the longevity of any solution they install. Charging technology rapidly evolves and USB Type-C is fast becoming the charging preference of the future. It is already being used in many of the latest mobile devices, tablets and laptops. 

There are several factors driving this. Not only does it carry more power so it can charge larger devices such as laptops, as well as smart phones, it offers a faster transfer speed enabling quicker charging. USB Type-C is also reversible, so it inserts into the socket both ways. Furthermore, it is the international standard, eliminating the need for travel adaptors. 

The market has responded quickly to this changing preference and a number of solutions to meet this demand are readily available. Paving the way, BG Electrical has developed a market-leading solution with its 30W Type C USB wall socket, the most powerful of its kind. 

This latest innovation is the only true fast charging wall socket with integrated fast charge ports for both USB-C and USB-A. Delivering true, fast charging of mobile phones, small laptops and tablets, BG Electricals superior solution can deliver a 50% charge¹ in just 30 minutes – 70% faster² than standard 5W charging. 

In addition, the integrated smart charging automatically switches the socket to standby mode once the device is fully charged, thus eliminating any potential damage caused by overcharging. Despite the higher power output, it easily fits into a 25mm back box and includes inline angled, colour coded terminals to aid installation. 

The changing world may mean we have to adapt quickly, but for contractors that do, there is a wealth of opportunity out there to create additional revenue, while helping residential and commercial clients alike.

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