WildCharger Wire-Free System


Anyone who relies on portable devices to stay connected throughout the day knows of the carefully synchronized dance to keep them charged up whenever they aren’t being used. Plug, unplug. Disconnect one charger, connect another. Shuffle around adapters from room to room. If you’re lucky, putting cell phones, cameras, laptops and other digital goodies to bed by plugging them into a tangle of different chargers can become a nighttime routine as normal as brushing your teeth. But anyone who has fought with the wire medusa long enough has to wonder if there’s a better way.

An Arizona-based company known as WildCharge hopes it has found that way with its new wire-free charging system, which takes “plugging in” out of the equation. While it’s not wireless in the same way technologies like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are, because it requires physical contact, the WildCharger system removes the need to actually plug anything in to your device to charge it. Instead, you can drop a WildCharger-equipped device down on a special pad, and walk away. It begins charging immediately, automatically, and without any plugs or wires.

WildCharger Wire-Free System
WildCharger Wire-Free System

There’s no technological revolution behind the WildCharger, just a bit of ingenuity and clever design. Equipping a phone to work with a WildCharger adapter basically adds four tiny metal contacts to the back of the phone, which form a triangular pattern. These touch a grid of electrified strips on the WildCharger Charge Pad, which plugs into the wall. The pattern on the phone ensures that it touches at least two different strips while resting on the pad, and it charges as if it were plugged into its own charger. That’s all there is to it.

There’s no technological revolution behind the WildCharger, just a bit of ingenuity and clever design. Equipping a phone to work with a WildCharger adapter basically adds four tiny metal contacts to the back of the phone, which form a triangular pattern. These touch a grid of electrified strips on the WildCharger Charge Pad, which plugs into the wall. The pattern on the phone ensures that it touches at least two different strips while resting on the pad, and it charges as if it were plugged into its own charger. That’s all there is to it.

Feeding electricity to a book-sized grid of metal might sound like a safety nightmare, but the modest amount of current a cell phone draws makes the pad innocuous to touch, and it has built-in safety features to prevent short circuits. For instance, the pad can detect something metal, like a key, on its surface, and automatically turn off power to the grid until the item is removed. Spilling a conductive liquid on the pad produces the same result, and it can simply be wiped dry afterwards.

While the WildCharger pad is universal, users must buy individual adapters for each device the pad will be used with to ready them for service. The low-profile adapters are designed to stay attached all the time, and basically convert a variety of different proprietary power plug designs to WildCharge’s own four-stud pattern. Right now, only adapters for the Motorola Razr have shown up for sale on WildCharge’s site, but adapters for other popular devices such as the BlackBerry 8800, BlackBerry Pearl, iPod 2G Nano, and iPod Touch are on the way.

At a price of $59.99 USD for a pad and $34.99 USD for the only available adapter (or $89.99 USD bundled together) there’s no denying that cell users will pay a premium for the convenience of plug-free charging. But when more adapters become available, those who need to keep entire stables of devices fueled up and ready to go may start to see the appeal of a do-it-all universal charger built for easy use. More information on the WildCharger, including which devices are scheduled for adapters next and a poll to vote for your own, can be found at WildCharge’s Web site.

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