Herman Miller, which you may know from their popular expensive Aeron chairs, has licensed the eCoupled technology from Fulton Innovation.
Future office desks from Herman Miller with the eCoupled technology could charge electronic devices that support this technology through a magnetic field. Forget about any wires or adapters, the only thing you'll need to do with your phone, iPod or PDA will be putting them on your desk.
This is a really cool feature and according to media reports it may even save companies money as it eliminates the need to buy dozens of adapters. However, I don't think there will be any cost savings for the first few years as the first devices with this technology will probably be quite expensive.
The price of this desk is still unknown and it's not sure when Herman Miller will launch desks with eCoupled technology.
How eCoupled works
The eCoupled technology uses the inductive coupling principle, it works by transferring power through a magnetic field. To receive power from this magnetic field a device needs to have a built-in eCoupled receiver, but at this moment there are still no devices on the market that support it. A more technical explanation can be found at eCoupled. Many of you probably already have a device that uses inductive coupling, like an electric toothbrush
Motorola is working together with eCoupled, but it's not yet certain that they will launch any phones with this technology.
As longs as gadget makers haven't implemented this technology you can also use an adapter for your gizmos to make it work. Mobility Electronics will launch an eCoupled adapter within a few months but the price of this device is still unknown.
Here's a YouTube video from Gizmodo that shows how it works: