Powermat unveils new line of wireless charging products

Powermat, a wireless charging device targeted at cell phones, has announced a range of new products at CES 2010.

Launched in October 2009, Powermat has sold nearly 1 million products and has quickly established itself as the leading wireless charging technology for mobile devices, partly thanks to national retail distribution in the US. The products work typically by encasing a mobile cell phone and using the back of the device as a magnetic charge plate which is then placed on a charging mat. Originally the technology required a slightly bulky back to your mobile but that's about to change.

Powermat announced the "Powerpack" on Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show. The Powerpack is a replacement for your existing cell phone battery and require no new back. More than 10 models from HTC, Blackberry, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson will debut at CES but Powermat claims the technology can be applied to virtually any phone. The Powerpack will cost $40 and is expected to go on sale in May this year. Unfortunately for iPhone and iPod Touch owners you'll be stuck with the silicone case receiver or an extended battery case receiver which combines extended battery life and wireless charging.

Powermat works by combining RFID and induction charging. If you place a Powermat enabled device onto a Powermat the RFID will detect the device and begin sending a charge.



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29 Comments

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So you have to have it placed on the mat to charge? How is that anymore conveniant then plugging in a charger?

The whole concept of induction charging seems a little off to me. If you increase the range it works across you'll have a big magnetic field in the house messing things up and sending transformers haywire, but if you don't you're limited to small range applications like this that have no real benefit over a hardwired connection.

This is a good idea for some people. I read on a Kindle forum where it might have helped someone with arthritis who kept nearly breaking their Kindle plugging in the mini USB cable to charge it. Still not quite for me though.

tbh, they'd make more money if they approached the hardware vendors (apple/nokia) and allowed them to include their hardware built into the phones for a small commission.

i prefer to use my phone will its charging and thats only possible with a cable, If I use the mat then once its off its not charging so thats a bit stupid imo. Cool non the less, but braun had something like this for ages with thier rechargeable toothbrushes.

The tech is sweet but the implantation has a long way to go.

As rippleman said until this stuff is part of the hardware internally it is kind of pointless.

Charger built into the device.
Charging pad part of the desk or some such. Or a fantastic idea. The charging pad build into your car somewhere.

As it is now I see no benefit of having this.

Well to quote from the article:

Powermat announced the "Powerpack" on Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show. The Powerpack is a replacement for your existing cell phone battery and require no new back. More than 10 models from HTC, Blackberry, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson will debut at CES but Powermat claims the technology can be applied to virtually any phone. The Powerpack will cost $40 and is expected to go on sale in May this year. Unfortunately for iPhone and iPod Touch owners you'll be stuck with the silicone case receiver or an extended battery case receiver which combines extended battery life and wireless charging.

Cool technology regardless, but yes if it was implemented into like desks or something it would be even better.

but.... the mat is the charger? so you with the setup they are selling, you get:

1) the cord going to the wall
2) the mat
3) then your phone....

so you still have the charger cable clutter (the cord going to the wall) AND now the mat?

Still seems like an extra step to me....

I would rather skip part 2, would be quicker IMO

rippleman said,
so you still have the charger cable clutter (the cord going to the wall) AND now the mat?

I think what they mean by clutter is there is only one plug (the mat) and multiple items can be charged on the mat. One plug, three or four devices, no clutter.

seems like an unnessasary step, like other people said, you plug it in the mat in, then set your phone on top of it? sooo why bother? why not just plug in your phone and avoid the extra step? stupid that you even have to pay money for adding another step.

Let me get this right, you plug a mat into the power socket, then put your phone on it..???

Why dont you just plug your phone into its charger and cut out the middle man???

I assume you can charge many things on the mat at the same time???? still seems gimmicky to me... but then maybe thats why im not an inventor and am always skint!! lol...

I came to this same conclusion, I'd rather save 100$ for the mat and 40$ for the power adapter and just plug in my iPhone o.O.

You can charge many things on the mat at the same time. So it gets rid of the need for having multiple adapters for multiple electronics.

DrScouse said,
Let me get this right, you plug a mat into the power socket, then put your phone on it..???

Why dont you just plug your phone into its charger and cut out the middle man???

I assume you can charge many things on the mat at the same time???? still seems gimmicky to me... but then maybe thats why im not an inventor and am always skint!! lol...

Mat remains plugged in all the time.
You come home, plop your electronic device(s) down on the mat and it instantly commences charging. Magic!

Fred 69 said,
electronic device(s)

plural part being key here. One mat means one wire. Connecting multiple devices (laptop, mp3 player, phone for instance) would require multiple adapters, cables ect.

It's also just more convinient.

Hopefully this picks up quick and the phone manufacturers start integrating this into their phones by default with either their own units or by contract with these other companies. All phones will hopefully be like this along with other electronics. At least I hope this is the way they all go.

Nice in theory...in practice I'm skeptical. We already have a whole lot of different connectors for portable devices because noone will standardise them (well there is usb).

I can really see the same companies that already have their own connectors using different versions of this technology purely as a means to allow them to control the sale of peripherals/batteries.

Andrey said,
ha ha, iPhone owners get left behind yet again.

what do you think it is in the last picture?

Cool idea I guess. There is no way to get that hidden behind the battery panel though? This will get better in time....

Thats actually what they're coming out with now. The pictures above are what I've already seen in the store.