Led by such companies as Powermat, inductive charging has been around for a few years. In case you don't know what we're talking about, the idea behind inductive charging is to relieve you of the burden of connecting your phone (or another device) to a charging cable that has to be plugged into a wall outlet. Instead, you simply rest your phone on a special pad, and--presto!--the battery starts charging.
Ever since the debut of the Palm Pre, I've been enamored with inductive charging. After all, what could be easier than recharging your phone just by laying it on a special pad or dock--no cord required?
Nothing, that's what. Straight outta "Star Trek," inductive charging relies on an electromagnetic (i.e., wireless) transfer of energy between devices. Yet phone manufacturers still haven't embraced the technology.
Amid all the hoopla of Apple announcing the iPad 2, a small but potentially intriguing $49.99 accessory for owners of Apple's Magic Mouse hit the Apple Store: Mobee's Magic Charger.
You could call it a Powermat for your Magic Mouse, because this is a wireless inductive charger--you swap out the standard batteries for the Mobee rechargeable battery, then lay your mouse on the base station (which has to be plugged into a USB port) to charge the battery.
Mobee Technology says you'll get about six days of "autonomous power" before having to lay it … Read more
Toyota Motor will launch home battery chargers for electric and plug-in hybrid cars next year as it starts selling new models of environmentally friendly cars, the Nikkei business daily reported today.
The chargers, which will also be compatible with non-Toyota cars, will come in two types, the Nikkei reported, citing company sources. One would extend from the exterior wall of a home and the other would be for setting up in a garage.
The company expects to sell 20,000 to 30,000 units in the first year, with each costing about several tens of thousands of yen to 200,… Read more
The windshield-mounted aftermarket accessory is powered by a 12-volt outlet and uses magnetic induction to wirelessly charge devices in the cradle. The Car Charger adjusts its width to hold any of the mobile phones that Powermat supports, and consumers will need to purchase the Powermat Battery Door separately ($19-$29) for each smartphone they wish to charge.
It's not as sleek as the integrated solution in the Volt. Plus, … Read more
Consumers in the European Union will soon have a single charger standard for a slew of mobile phones.
DigitalEurope, the continent's largest digital tech organization, has delivered a sample of a universal mobile phone charger to European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani. The EU said that the sample now paves the way for consumers to get their hands on devices that support the universal charger in the very near future.
"I welcome the rollout of new chargers for mobile phones based on the new EU standard," Tajani said in a statement accompanying the announcement. "This is … Read more
LAS VEGAS--I had some hands-on experience with the Mobion Fuel Cell Generator in December and decided to bring it with me to CES 2011 with the intention of using it as the only charger for my iPhone 4 and seeing how this green technology would work out.
In case you're anxious, it worked out OK, though not perfectly.
Prior to the trip, MTI Micro, the device's maker, told me that while the generator itself would pose no problem, the fuel cell cartridge, which contains the fuel liquid, has not been approved to be included with carry-on luggage so … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Ever been in a situation in which your iPhone crashes (or mysteriously loses all of its information after a firmware update), and you resort to a backup within iTunes to get your data back just to realize that no recent backup had been successfully made? Well, I know a few who have suffered through this painful experience. It's obviously a little too late for them, but for the rest of you, there's now a way to avoid that.
Iomega today joins the long list of vendors that make accessories for the iPhone by announcing the Iomega SuperHero … Read more
I am not a film critic, but I find Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz's recent action movie "Knight and Day" quite a snooze, for the most part. Spoiler alert: There's one thing I like about the movie, however, and it's the idea of the "Zephyr," a perpetual battery about the size of a regular AA that has enough power to run a small city, forever.
Now powering a small city forever with a tiny battery is quite an ambition and will take at least until 2020 to get (I am an optimist). For … Read more
OK, this is stretching it. But if you're seriously considering a greener lifestyle, then check out the iFan. It's really just a modified PC fan molded into a rubberized iPhone case. The catch is you'll need to strap this onto a bicycle (and we're not talking a stationary bike here) to generate the kind of breeze needed to get this charger going.
Designer Tjeerd Veenhoven says it takes him roughly six hours to fully juice his iPhone using the iFan, which equates to an equivalent amount of time working those leg muscles. So cross your fingers … Read more