There are a few ways to hide or camouflage the bundle of cables that hang from most wall-mounted TVs—power, HDMI, etc.—but none are as truly invisible as the wireless technology that was recently revealed in a patent Samsung filed with the World Intellectual Property Office in March of last year. It eliminates cables altogether using a variation of the wireless power technology that currently allows you to charge your phone without a cable.
Of all the companies who make TVs, Samsung appears to be most dedicated to the task of minimising and eliminating unsightly cables dangling from beneath what otherwise is one of the sleekest gadgets in your home. At CES 2017, Samsung revealed an innovative feature for its Q9 quantum dot TV: All of the AV ports you’d usually find on the back of a TV were moved to an external box, leaving a single, fishing line-thin cable running back to the wall-mounted flatscreen that could easily be taped to the wall and painted over.
But eliminating those cables altogether is still the ideal solution. Formats like WirelessHD, WHDI, and WiGig let you send HD and even 4K video feeds to your TV without the need for cables connecting the two, so long as you’re willing to spend the extra cash on that hardware—but your TV’s unsightly power cord’s days might finally be numbered, too. As spotted by LetsGoDigital, Samsung’s patent details a setup that works similar to how your phone is able to wirelessly charge when sitting on an inductive charging pad, but at a slightly greater distance.
The technology detailed in the patent differs from other wireless power solutions that are finally hitting the market, such as Ossia’s Cota chips and transmitters that allow a device to suck power out of the air at distances of up to 12 feet. Samsung’s solution would still use coils of wire and electromagnetism to induce a current movement over short distances. The receiver, a box that looks similar to a speaker bar in the patent documents, would be mounted to the bottom of the TV, while a matching transmitter would be located a few feet below it, ideally as part of an entertainment centre where its power cord could be easily hidden.
In a way, it’s laughable that so much additional hardware would be needed to replace a thin wire that’s just a few feet long. But there’s also no doubt that many people are happy to spend exorbitant amounts of money perfecting their TV setups, and this could potentially be cheaper than paying a contractor to punch holes in your wall to hide the horrors of wires.
There’s, of course, no word on when we might see this feature introduced on Samsung’s flagship TVs—it’s just a patent, which means Samsung may never even build such a thing—but it would undoubtedly make its first appearance at some future CES where manufacturers like to roll out the latest, greatest, and most expensive TV innovations. [World Intellectual Property Office via LetsGoDigital via Slashgear]
Featured image: Illustration: WIPO