Wireless charging solutions are nothing new, and since their inception companies manufacturing them have sought to do one thing, and do it well: help consumers juice their mobile gadgets without the need for pesky cords. But, until now, such products have been limited by the number of devices they're compatible with.
Powermat, which launched in mid-October 2009, is looking to blow the lid off of this product category with its next generation of chargers by not only expanding its range of compatibility, but also increasing the ways in which consumers can charge their gadgets while on the go. Perhaps Ron Ferber, Powermat's president, says it best:
"While our initial line delivered on our promise to eliminate the hassle of plugging and unplugging--allowing consumers to plug in their Powermat and simply Drop and Charge--the assortment was limited to a handful of popular devices and charging environments. For 2010 we've taken our product line to a whole new level through the successful miniaturization of our technology to the ASIC level."
So what's new with Powermat? Let's take a look.
Powermat Recievers: These provide wireless charging while integrating "seamlessly" into your phone. More than ten models from HTC, BlackBerry, Nokia, LG, and others will debut at CES this week, but Powermat claims that the technology can be applied to "virtually any phone." There are also two models for the iPhone 3G/3GS; one is the simple silicon receiver, while the other doubles as an extended battery case.
Powermat Home and Office Mats: Three models will be available differing by size (Powermat 1X, 2X, and 3X); the 3X size is best suited for those with several Powermat-enabled devices. Just set your gadget down on the mat, and voila! It begins charging right away. The company will also offer Prepack Bundles, in which a charging mat is bundled together with a receiver.
Powermat Portable Mats: Whereas the charging mats mentioned above need to be plugged into outlets, these portable mats (available in 1X and 2X sizes) have a built-in battery. Once charged, you can take them anywhere in their sleek carrying cases for easy portability. They even come with a set of international plug adapters.
Powermat Netbook Mat: Here's something we haven't seen yet. The Powermat 3X Netbook is a complete charging solution that can simultaneously charge your netbook in addition to two other devices, such as phones, MP3 players, Bluetooth headsets, eReaders, and more. We're a little dubious about the design; according to released picture (top of page), the netbook receiver is not in the form of a skin, as for the iPhone versions (above), but it's still a step in the right direction.
Powermat Car Charger: This device plugs right into your vehicle's cigarette lighter for on-the-go charging, although its design doesn't appear to offer many benefits over traditional car chargers.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but we expect it to be in line with previous Powermat products.