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).