The picture above shows the thing that I am most frustrated about with my mobile phones, the nest of cables required for me to charge them. Fortunately, all my mobile phones use a microUSB connection, which allows me to carry just one charger for all of my phones, but every time I plug the cable into the phone I tell myself there has got to be a better way.
Ok, what really frustrates me is that there is a better way, it’s called inductive, or wireless, charging, but I can’t use it. A company called Powermat sells a number of different charging mats where all you need to do is place the phone on the mat to charge it. I think the solution is absolutely brilliant, but the problem is that it only works with certain phones.
In order for the Powermat wireless charging to work you need a receiver for the phone. The receivers are either external cases, such as the ones that exist for the iPhone 4, or actual replacements to the phone’s battery cover. Unfortunately, Powermat primarily sells receivers for Blackberries and iPhones, and only has receivers for two Android phones, the HTC EVO and the Motorola DROID X. In short, they don’t make receivers for any of my phones. Powermat does sell a microUSB adapter that works with their mat, but that means plugging in something to the phone, which defeats the purpose of having the mat.
You may recall that Palm sells the Touchstone charger for the Pre, which uses the same technology as Powermat, but of course that only works for the Pre. LG has announced a wireless charging pad, which will only work with LG phones. What we need is an industry adopted wireless charging standard that enables wireless charging of any mobile phone and other portable devices from any company that makes charging mats. As long as wireless solutions are proprietary accessories they will be too expensive and will result in preventing some people from taking advantage of the technology.