Get ready for wireless gadget charging

by PYB James | Jan 01, 2011

Wireless charging of gadgets is not completely new but there is momentum behind the movement to push wireless battery recharging devices into the mainstream, with several companies offering products at reasonable prices.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is always a good barometer of what technology companies are likely to drive into the consumer marketplace over the coming 12 months and last week’s 2011 edition of CES saw a number of firms pushing ‘wireless’ charging.

Induction-based charging systems aim to eliminate the requirement for numerous chargers being plugged in separately around the household. Celpad were one company making their debut at CES 2011 and their system allows users to wirelessly charge up multiple gadgets at the same time.

The user simply plugs in one charging ‘pad’ to the mains, then plugs a charging case into their smartphone or other chargeable device (the case can be kept on the device). The device is placed on the charging pad and can be picked up and put down if further charging is required. The pad is big enough to hold several charging devices simultaneously.

For larger devices there is an extension adapter which means a tablet PC could also charge from the main charging pad without taking up all the space.

These ‘wireless’ charging pads are also useful for business travellers who can take the product outside of the UK and plug in with one adapter in territories with different mains sockets, rather than carrying multiple chargers.

Powermat were also present at CES demonstrating a similar product range and they even have a charging matt which can be installed in cars - another interesting innovation.

The manufacturers of these types of products are of course in negotiation with mobile and smartphone manufacturers to integrate their products, thus potentially eliminating the requirement for the charging case to be placed around a device before it is placed on the charging pad to re-charge.

Meanwhile, a group called The Wireless Power Consortium, which includes around 70 companies such as LG, Panasonic and Samsung, have published a ‘Qi standard’ for wireless charging and their system is compatible charging mats produced by Energizer.

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