Microsoft's wireless charging pad spotted, named uPad [Video]

Earlier this week we brought you news that Microsoft was planning a wireless charging pad similar to Powermat's products.

Engadget spotted the pad in the wild and claim it's a prototype device made by Microsoft Research Asia. The charging pad is named "uPad" and was produced in limited numbers as a souvenir for Microsoft Research Asia's 10th anniversary. It's not yet clear whether the device will be mass manufactured or released outside of Asia. Microsoft officials were unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

Microsoft applied for a patent for the device last year which was spotted this week. According to the patent, devices can be placed on any side of the pad for wireless charging, inductively. The device will use the inbuilt accelerometer to detect which part is facing up to send the charge. The pad will also include an OLED screen to display information such as news and sports headlines and weather information.

Powermat devices currently offer similar features by using a combination of wireless induction charging, magnetic alignment and RFID handshake. Powermat offers replacement battery covers and batteries for devices such as the iPhone, BlackBerry and Nexus One. The technology works by aligning magnetic points to a desktop pad that completes an RFID handshake to determine the exact amount of power required for the device. The device is then charged using electromagnetic fields to transfer energy between two objects (inductive charging).

Image and Video Credits: jhuiwen (Flickr) & bfishadow (YouTube)

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40 Comments

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pielor said,
very interesting where charging technology is heading. soon no connectors will be placed. absolutely genuis!

yea imgine a Desktop PC with out power wire/connectors

all you have to do is place the hardware in the right spots

really should develop this technology to be integrated into home desks/tables. Also obviously into devices too that don't need a fugly huge shell thing around them.

Dead'Soul said,
Microsoft Research, using macs :)
Did you forget that Microsoft is a "software" company? Also, they make software for macs. Kind of hard to do that without using them don't you think?

Edited by IceBreakerG, Feb 24 2010, 1:45pm :

DawnUnder2002 said,

Right ... like MS hasn't had a whole division targeting Macs for ages now..


Its even funnier when you realize that the division originally was Apple developers that were laid off by Apple

shial said,

Its even funnier when you realize that the division originally was Apple developers that were laid off by Apple

LOL, I didn't know that... That is amusing...

does anybody understand the video? Few questions:

1) what is the cube in glass like material
2) can it only charge microsoft mice?

XerXis said,
does anybody understand the video? Few questions:

1) what is the cube in glass like material

Reflection of ceiling probably.

XerXis said,
does anybody understand the video? Few questions:

1) what is the cube in glass like material
2) can it only charge microsoft mice?


Yup. The cube in the block of glass is just one of those decorations things where you have engravings, and in this case they placed it on the flashing triangle so it (according to the video) "looks more beautiful".

And he didn't elaborate on the mice thing. Apparently it came with the pack, soo...

Lastwebpage said,
Excuse me for this quesiton, but why this device is not larger and usable as a mouse-pad?

Very good point. In fact, genius!

Lastwebpage said,
Excuse me for this quesiton, but why this device is not larger and usable as a mouse-pad?

Prototype? Maybe since its a gift, perhaps, this is less expensive than giving them the whole thing? I'm guessing that this a concept/prototype.

Lastwebpage said,
Excuse me for this quesiton, but why this device is not larger and usable as a mouse-pad?

I'm guessing that it's a small one to hand out as a sorta tech test, and to keep costs down they're not making them bigger for now.

Lastwebpage said,
Excuse me for this quesiton, but why this device is not larger and usable as a mouse-pad?

Interesting idea, but I'm not sure that I would want to have an inductive power source resting beneath my hand and wrist the entire time that I am using it. I have no idea if that's even bad for humans on this scale, but I would not want to be the guinea pig that finds out.

Also, the fact that this device is powered by USB (or even if it was the wall), it kind of defeats the purpose of having a wireless mouse (and thus, the need to charge).

pickypg said,

Also, the fact that this device is powered by USB (or even if it was the wall), it kind of defeats the purpose of having a wireless mouse (and thus, the need to charge).

okay, maybe I am the only one, but I use a wireless mouse for two reasons a)You know my desk? full of things. A mouse cable getting entangled. b)the cable from the mouse always break at the connection point between cable and mouse after a more or less short time. But I not really move the mouse, it's always at the same place.

About health, yes, this could be a reason. I know some people who wear a watch at the "mouse hand" too.

pickypg said,

Interesting idea, but I'm not sure that I would want to have an inductive power source resting beneath my hand and wrist the entire time that I am using it. I have no idea if that's even bad for humans on this scale, but I would not want to be the guinea pig that finds out.

Also, the fact that this device is powered by USB (or even if it was the wall), it kind of defeats the purpose of having a wireless mouse (and thus, the need to charge).

That's a good point. I share your concern now to be honest. I think I would prefer this to be a standalone device now as well...

Lastwebpage said,

okay, maybe I am the only one, but I use a wireless mouse for two reasons a)You know my desk? full of things. A mouse cable getting entangled. b)the cable from the mouse always break at the connection point between cable and mouse after a more or less short time. But I not really move the mouse, it's always at the same place.

Look into a "mouse bungee" if the mouse's cord is giving you issues.

Dhillon said,
lol @ iPad/upad, What's next ? myPad !

....a compact charger.....'Mini-Pad' and the larger model...'Maxi-Pad'

Edited by jwjw1, Feb 24 2010, 10:32am :