PhoneNews.com met with Powermat to see if their wireless charging solution met the hype. The good news is, yes, there are ways to wirelessly charge existing gadgets using the Powermat solution. At around $159 for a combined cost of the initial base station and $30/each charging accessories, Powermat does allow many devices to just be dropped onto the charging base… no cables required.
However, in order to do that, one must slip the device into a custom-fitted case. Each case is $30, and has the wireless charging receiver attached. The receiver isn’t small either, adding about a quarter-inch of thickness, above and beyond the rubber case surrounding the phone or gadget. If a device can’t support a custom-fitted case, an external receiver can be used. However, these external receivers are very large, and can’t be described as anything other than clunky. To compensate, Powermat says that the charging base stations will come with USB charging ports on the bottom. Also, the $129 Powermat can only support four devices at a time. However, you can expand the solution to six (and no, you can’t daisy-chain multiple Powermats… we asked).
The company does have big plans though, however they acknowledged anything beyond the initial base station is purely a concept. That concept includes adding proprietary charging receivers inside future gadgets. Powermat refused to discuss what the cost of adding that would be, or if they would be willing to accept some form of standardized charging platform. The company also refused to allow the public to tour their booth, allowing only press and marketers to view the technology.
Powermat is certainly aware that this economy isn’t exactly the best to launch such a device, but the company hopes that demand will peak around the holiday buying season. And, you won’t be able to get a Powermat before then… the charging stations won’t begin to ship until the fourth quarter of this year.
Read more to see all of the Powermat devices and accessories.