— Mobile Technology
Powermat wireless charging system hits shelves
The Powermat range of wireless charging products we first spied at CES 2009 are now available for purchase. The system consists of a plug in charging mat and a receiver embedded in a cover for your portable device that allows you to "drop and charge" without having to to fiddle with cords as well as simultaneously charge multiple devices.
There's two types of mat on offer - one for home and office plus a folding portable version for travel - both are priced at US$99.
The receiver cases are available for Nintendo DS (US$30) and Apple iPhone 3G and iPod Touch (US$40). There's also a receiver dock catering for standard iPod Classic and iPod nanos as well (US$40).
Rather than a case, Blackberry products (Bold, Pearl, Curve 8300 and 8900) get a battery door replacement which is priced at $US30.
The range is rounded-off by a "Powercube Universal Receiver" which connects to portable devices via interchangeable tips. It costs US$30.
Powermat says the system will charge as fast or faster than your plug in cord and an "RFID handshake" between mat and receiver ensures that the exact amount of power is delivered, with an auto-shut off function ensuring no wastage.
Great idea, but what about syncing your device? You will still have to plug it in.
What about standards? It's no point in this technology in my opinion if there's no standards. Otherwise we will all have to have 10 of these type of mats laying around for all of our devices. Just look at the mobile phone market were almost every manufacturer has a different type of charger - not exactly environmentally friendly!
I think the politicians could easily get some eco-friendly points if they enforced a requirement for a charger standard.
I've heard the energy consumption of chargers sitting on "stand-by" in the plug is enormous, correct me if I'm wrong. Just having one charger per household would then, by my logic, cut these consumption figures numerous times.
Sorry if I got of topic a bit, but please let me know if you agree.
I think this is a great idea. As for 'government intervention' . . . No, definitely not. I think the consumer should be the judge. So far, this technology is in its infancy and crappier products will fall by the wayside and the ones that survive will be proven, flexible, and efficient. I know 'homogenization' sounds like a great idea, but that would mean removing choices from the consumer. If I want 20 different devices from 20 different manufacturers that all use 20 different chargers, that's my choice and it shouldn't be taken away from me.
Talk to Steve, he\'s the genius that crippled the iPhone\'s bluetooth and tons of other functions. It\'s a cell phone, it IS a wireless communication device. Syncing wirelessly is a software/patent issue.
Amazing stuff, especially the idea of wireless charging. Recently I found another company in Europe selling something similar to the Powermat products .
What\'s the range on the thing??
Nice idea with about a 2-4 year product life. The focusable microwave will probably replace it as soon as it hits the consumer market.
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