Imagine a life without cables, a life where you don't have to find the right sized connector for your growing collection of electronic devices, or worry about plugging in your watch, phone, tablet and laptop overnight.
Like the mass extinction of screws on the back of your phone, the death of cables is coming and one New Zealand company is leading the charge.
This week I spent some time at PowerbyProxi, a company that is developing a wireless charging technology that will eliminate the need to tether our devices to a power outlet and could help turn our static furniture into functional charging stations.
Using wireless charging is simple. Place your device on the charging mat or in the charging bowl and watch the battery icon go from red to green as if by magic.
Electricity in the common wired form flows from your plug to your device battery via electrons which move along a conductive wire.
You may have already come across induction wireless charging used in rechargeable toothbrushes and electric shavers but induction charging has a short millimetre range meaning these devices have to be aligned using custom-built cradles.
The real advance in wireless charging has been in the development of resonant wireless charging.
Auckland University's Professor John Boys and Professor Grant Covic made it the focus of their research and the technology was spun out by Fady Mishriki and Greg Cross when they created PowerbyProxi in 2007.
The science of wireless charging is simple.
If you run electricity through a coil of wire, it creates a magnetic field. If you then take another coil of wire and place it close to the first coil, the magnetic fields of the coils interact, generating an electrical current.
The resonant part takes advantage of the natural vibration (resonant frequency) of the materials in the coils and allows electricity to flow only when they are perfectly matched.
This specific frequency matching with the addition of a capacitor to each coil results in an electromagnetic wave which can travel from one coil to the next over longer distances with greater efficiency.
It also enables several devices to be charged on the same pad while still safely allowing other metal objects such as loose change or keys to be placed on the charger without giving you a nasty shock.
What I love about wireless charging is that it can be simply integrated into furniture. Ikea has a wireless charging furniture range and Starbucks has introduced wireless charging tables in its coffee shops, enabling customers to charge while they caffeinate.
That a small Kiwi company is part of a mobile-device wireless-charging market predicted to be worth $5 billion globally by 2020, shows the clean, green IP export potential of commercialising smart ideas in New Zealand.
However it's not luck that's got PowerbyProxi here. It's hard to ignore the company's public display of idea protection, through office walls filled with some of its 300 patents and a big framed leader board celebrating the top employees who have filed the most patents.
Don't bet on this being New Zealand's answer to the dropping dairy price yet - a VHS/Betamax-like battle is going on behind the scenes as the industry determines which of the two international standard bodies will become the leader - but PowerbyProxi has earned its place at the table to continue the fight.
It has offices in Austin, Silicon Valley and Atlanta, so the question New Zealand needs to ask is can we stop another Kiwi success leaving the country by offering successful tech companies such as PowerbyProxi a talent-filled place they want to stay, grow and invest in?
This column is sponsored by Callaghan Innovation to promote the coverage of science and innovation. The views expressed are the author's own.