Although the gravitational pull of tech news will today be inexorably skewed toward Apple’s closely watched WWDC and its beautiful new MacBook Pro, there is, in fact, even more news to tell you about. Duracell Powermat — the joint venture between traditional battery powerhouse Duracell and wireless charging pioneer Powermat Technologies — today announced the release of its 24-hour Power System, a wireless solution for charging the iPhone 4 and 4S. Although Powermat’s technology has been around for a few years now, the 24-hour Power System is actually a three piece charging symphony, and an evolution of Powermat’s previous technologies.
The system includes a base, which you plug into a traditional power source, an iPhone case in the color of your choice, replete with inductive charging back, and a separate, portable battery backup. The backup, which can interface via micro-USB or Apple’s own dock connector, allows for an emergency (full) charge of your iPhone or any device with a micro-USB input while away from a power source.
Duracell Powermat claims that its next-generation technology knows when your device is fully charged, and is smart enough to cut off the juice even if you leave your phone on the charging mat. Waste not want not, we suppose.
“Today’s smartphones are our right hand: evermore powerful, but at the same time ever quicker to run out of power, barely lasting through the afternoon. With The Duracell Powermat 24 Hour Power System, users can now fully utilize their phone throughout the day without having to worry about the battery life,” said Ron Rabinowitz, Duracell Powermat CEO, in a statement.
Along with the new product, Duracell Powermat has also mounted a national campaign that it has creatively dubbed “Wireless Power Nation,” an attempt to kick-start the widespread adoption of wireless power mats across the country. The company has already partnered with Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center to have charging stations installed at those venues, and will even see its technology available in the 2013 Chevy Volt.
Which begs the question: How badly do consumers really want wireless charging? As the technology currently stands, the benefit and convenience of not having to plug in your phone to recharge its battery is infinitely diminished by the bulky, and frankly less-than-attractive case that it must wear for the technology to work (at least for the iPhone — devices with removable batteries often have the option of installing a Powermat aftermarket accessory). And in order to ditch that case, Duracell Powermat will have to work closely — and we mean closely — with phone manufacturers to integrate its technology during the design phase. The company has however stated that this is its ultimate goal; much like WiFi used to rely on aftermarket accessories before its own widespread adoption, Powermat hopes to follow that technologies upward trajectory, graduating from “cool tech” to “can’t-live-without” status. If you want to be one of the early adopters, the 24 Hour Power System will be available today in stores in NYC and everywhere online for around $100.