Not to be mistaken for a wireless charger, the Gecko is a magnetic charging connector that plugs into the Micro USB or Lightning port of your smartphone. It magnetically connects with the adapter or dongle, which is plugged into the charging cable’s tip or a power bank, charging the phone “wirelessly.”
It’s not really wireless, but the Gecko does eliminate the hassle of plugging the cable into the device. Is it a groundbreaking product? No, but it’s an option for those with phones that do not offer wireless charging or even reversible connectors like the Lightning charger or USB Type-C cables, which certainly makes charging a little more convenient. After all, that’s what the Gecko really is all about — convenience.
You need to keep the short Gecko connector, which flips to the back of your device, plugged in. The adapter plugs into the connector tips — whether it’s a Micro USB or Lightning charger — and voilà, all you need to do is put your device near the cable’s now magnetic tip and it should snap into place with your device and begin charging.
Meanwhile, the dongle has the same magnetic tip, but it has a Micro USB connector on the other end, so that you can plug it into a power bank and then connect the tips, as you would with the adapter.
The creator, Andreas De Wit, told Digital Trends that the Gecko is a proxy, so the charging speed is the same as what the charger cable already offers. It’s not clear how strong the magnet is, but De Wit said it should offer “good resistance.”
More and more USB Type-C ports are popping up recently on devices like Google’s Nexus 5X and 6P, which means more and more companies will likely be adopting that format. De Wit said the company is looking to make USB Type-C connectors as a stretch goal, but first wants to see if it can hit $50,000 in the campaign, which is the amount needed to fund the Lightning and Micro USB connectors.
Wireless charging has seen a slow adoption process over the years, and many devices like the iPhone 6S and Nexus 6P don’t have the option. Part of the reason why is that fast-charging improvements and reversible connectors have progressed significantly in recent years, while wireless charging continues to lag behind. Even so, people are looking for more convenient ways to use their devices, and eliminating the need to physically grab the charging cable and plug it into a phone is a small and affordable way to make charging a little less of a hassle.
The standard Gecko kit is $9 and will get you a Gecko Connector and Adapter. You’ll need to choose if it’s for the Lightning or Micro USB cable. The Indiegogo campaign has 44 days to go as of publication time, and has raised $9,310 of its $20,000 goal. It’s expected to ship in February 2016 if all goes well. You can back it here.