PowerMat Launches At CES

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on January 07, 2009

About 18 months ago I wrote this story on an Israeli startup called Powermat which caught my attention for its wireless charging technology.

Today I talked briefly with Powermat President Rob Ferber who is at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (where I, thankfully, am not) who tells me that the company plans to have products in stores in the US by the fall of this year.

Imagine recharging your Blackberry, your iPhone, your notebook PC, your iPod simply by setting any or all of them down on a table or counter top? All you’d need is the Powermat system, which consists of a mat and a receiver. The principle at work is electromagnetic induction, which as I wrote in 2007 is an idea that dates back more than a century and is widely associated with Nikola Tesla, the Russian scientist who in the 1890s demonstrated that the wireless transmission of power was possible.

I’ve seen early demonstrations and the stuff works. Here’s some products in the works:

A case for your iPhone, Blackberry, iPod, etc that contains the receiver. It might sell for $20 or $30 and would work with a mat that would sell for about $100. A mat, which is plugged into one AC outlet, could charge several devices at once, saving you the hassle of searching for a convenient outlet.

Another concept uses a puck-shaped receiver connected to a cord that would both charge and power your notebook, while at the same time still have the capacity to charge one or two mobile devices.

Down the road, Ferber says you’ll be able to hang a flat screen TV on the wall, and have the necessary power reside within the wall, meaning that if you were to remove the set from the wall its hanging on there’s be no power cord necessary. Another idea is to power kitchen appliances like blenders and food processors directly from the kitchen counter. See the Powermat web site for some demonstration videos.

Charging all my stuff is such a pain in the neck. I always have to remember which charger goes with which device. At home we call them our “pets,” because they all need to be fed regularly. It would be nice to feed them all in an easier manner.

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Reader Comments

Rich

January 8, 2009 11:15 AM

Arik, until you get the Powermat charger, label your chargers to identify which one goes with which device.

martin

January 8, 2009 01:29 PM

Aehm, cool stuff, but NIKOLA TESLA was a serbian scientist from croatia, not russian, even the russians did invent a lot!
good journalism is rare these days!

Michael

January 9, 2009 05:30 PM

Ah, a future without all the wires! I allready ordered the thing on the powermat web site

ALBinDENVER

January 9, 2009 06:02 PM

I am really, really excited about the power mat ... especially the travel size. I am so sick and tired of lugging five different chargers with me every single time I go on a business trip!

George

January 10, 2009 06:42 AM

wow good product and i wouldnt be suprised if this became an everyday all around the house product. But it makes me wonder if we had this technology all along how come we havent seen a product like this already?? i really hope there isnt a catch ...

Peter_Safari

January 10, 2009 07:11 AM

THIS DOES NOT WORK! Dont buy it!

Aaron

January 10, 2009 07:35 AM

POWERMAT will be a welcome device in my house. I would love to get rid of my charger wire mess.

Tesla's best work was Five Man Acoustical Jam.

Rob

January 10, 2009 11:52 AM

I am so excited for this to come along in the fall. A home life without wires? I can see it.

Now...do you think powermat can do something about those power lines around town?

I've always thought we might see the removal of power/telephone lines due to all the wireless technology.

Wahoo!!

agraham

January 10, 2009 01:56 PM

Awesome!

Big_Nate

January 10, 2009 02:03 PM

Finally! I've been waiting for something like this for a while. I've seen some similar, but still need you to plug things in. This one looks like it will work out great for me at least.

Amy M

January 10, 2009 04:23 PM

I am excited to try this for myself when it comes to market, it looks as though this will make my life so much more organized - no more lugging cords everywhere I go.

chica_lauren

January 10, 2009 04:30 PM

This product looks pretty bad ass. I would love to get rid of all of the ugly wires around my house. Plus, it helps me go green without really having to do anything. Very cool....

Amy R.

January 10, 2009 04:36 PM

Oh man, I am so excited for this to come out! Peter_Safari - have you tried this? How do you know it doesn't work? Even if it takes twice as long to charge to half battery - I'll take it to free up an entire drawer filled with various chargers!

Jody M

January 10, 2009 05:11 PM

What a great idea! Can't wait to get one!

jimmydean

January 10, 2009 06:21 PM

Not only is this a REALLY cool way to make tech life easier, but I could see this as being a new home standard for power outlets.

geovannatter

January 10, 2009 07:54 PM

This is truly amazing. I will be picking one up!

Jennifer

January 10, 2009 08:15 PM

I love this idea, absolutely amazing! I can't wait to run out and buy one as soon as it comes out.

ACValentine

January 10, 2009 09:00 PM

This is a Techie's dream!

AnaM

January 10, 2009 10:12 PM

It's about time! Can't wait to get one!!

Linders

January 10, 2009 10:20 PM

Why didn't I think of this??? What a great idea. Can't wait to get one of my own.

BubbaJesus

January 10, 2009 10:20 PM

This blows my mind. I need to have one now!

QTGirl

January 10, 2009 10:21 PM

All I can say is WOW!

DKS

January 10, 2009 11:21 PM

Using a PowerMat to power my flatscreen tv down the road would be genius! Not only an eco-friendly approach but also a decorater's dream. Until then I can't wait to get one for all my cords.

Eklethrop

January 11, 2009 10:44 AM

Hoora! This is fantastic! I cannot wait for this thing to come out, I am going to get it right away. I have been waiting for this forever!!!

Rob S

January 11, 2009 12:10 PM

Please please please get this to market NOW! I need this!

Think33

January 11, 2009 12:44 PM

It's been a long time coming...

Ernie

January 11, 2009 01:30 PM

Powermat is a fantastic idea! Looking forward to see the impact this can have on how manufacturers develop products.

Whitney

January 11, 2009 03:56 PM

How exciting! The Powermat is a brilliant idea! I need to get one as soon as I can! How innovative.

gerb

January 11, 2009 04:14 PM

This idea has been kicking around for a while now - nice to see it finally coming to market!

marti573

January 11, 2009 05:04 PM

This product is simply amazing. I am buying one as soon as they come out in the fall!

powerpuff

January 11, 2009 07:58 PM

I can't wait until the Powermat devices are standard in desks and kitchen counters. Until they complete that step I can't wait to buy a few of these in the fall!!

Neil

January 11, 2009 09:06 PM

Ingenious idea. I am looking forward to less wires on my desk and counter top. Any product that helps simplify my life gets a thumbs up!

Marcia

January 11, 2009 09:14 PM

This sounds really great - I hope it works as well as it seems.

Chris

January 11, 2009 09:34 PM

Looks pretty sweet. For sure will get one.

Gila

January 11, 2009 11:19 PM

A product that helps to simplify and organize gets a thumbs up from me. One for the office and one for home.

Mike Harris

January 12, 2009 12:02 AM

I can't wait to ditch my 3 chargers + charging station for one of these.

That will officially be the best day ever!

donna

January 12, 2009 08:34 AM

I cant wait until this is on the market!!! What a brilliant idea! The fall cant come soon enough.

donna

January 12, 2009 08:35 AM

I cant wait until this is on the market!!! What a brilliant idea! The fall cant come soon enough.

Brian

January 12, 2009 09:08 AM

Great idea! I'm excited to buy one as soon as it gets to the market.

marie

January 12, 2009 09:23 AM

this sounds AMAZING! i can never keep my chargers straight - how AWESOME!

Mike

January 12, 2009 09:34 AM

This looks awesome, bring on wireless power!

bob1th

January 12, 2009 09:58 AM

This is definiately for next Christmas. Will make my room a lot less messy :)

Jack

January 12, 2009 11:52 AM

In respond to Peter_Safari - I tried the Powermat last week at the CES show and it worked great. I used my personal cell phone just to make sure, and it sure did charge.

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