Wrestling with wires? Take it to the Powermat!
This entry was posted on October 30, 2009.
Like any truly great gadget the Powermat is based on science that has a lot of Greek symbols in it while remaining easy to use. The Powermat uses Electromagnetic Induction (which apparently we found out about around 1831 Electromagnetic Induction on Wikipedia ) to charge all your handheld devices without wires…. Sort of.
It’s not entirely wireless, you need to plug in the mats themselves and any device that they don’t make a receiver for needs to use the “powercube”. The powercube comes with mini & micro USB tips standard, though you can get others as you need them. It then sits on the mat, wirelessly, while your PSP for example will be plugged into it via the USB connection. So while not entirely “wireless” it’s probably less hassle than having all those plugs lying around beside your bed for everything you need to charge.
The real appeal of the Powermat comes in when you have a device that comes with a receiver. The receiver allows your device to charge directly from the mat. They’re either a sleeve in the case of the iPhone 3G and iPod touch, a dock for iPods and iPhones or for Blackberry devices a new battery door. The Blackberry door replacement has the least impact on the overall feel of the phone while the dock is pretty much the standard iPod type of dock.
When you’ve got your receiver in place all you need to do is drop the phone down onto the Powermat in the right place and it starts to charge. It gives off a bleep and the LED’s light up (Both of these functions can be switched to either On, Half or Off). One caveat though is that you have to be fairly precise in your positioning of the device over the charging spots on the mat for it to activate properly, though there are magnets in the mat to help you find the sweet spot.
As for the mats you have two choices. There’s the Home & Office mat which is the more stylish option, but doesn’t have the practicality of the Portable Mat. The portable mat folds up into three sections, comes with its own carry case and means that you’ll only have one charger to forget when you travel rather than 5.
The Powermat system isn’t cheap though. The mats are $99 and when you add the price of a couple of the receivers at between $20 and $30 things get expensive fast. That being said though, the system is both innovative and pretty nifty. Anyone who has a coffee table in their bedroom set aside as a shrine to their DS, iPod, iPhones and Blackberry chargers will instantly be able to see the benefits that a system like this can bring. As an added bonus it’s a stylish looking piece of tech in its own right and it actually works!