The iPhone 7 may pack a faster processor and better camera than much of its competition, but one area in which it lacks is charging. Wireless charging, to be specific. And as anyone who’s used a Qi-enabled Android smartphone will tell you, that’s a real shame — the freedom to slap your phone on a charger without having to fumble around for a misshapen wire is can be an absolute godsend. Rumor has it that the feature is bound for next year’s iPhone, but for the impatient, there’s an IndieGoGo solution today: the Woolet Wireless Charging Pad.
The Woolet’s conceit — “making … lives simple” — is straightforward enough, and appropriately, so is the technology behind it. Behind the pad of hand-stitched, printed calf leather lie magnetic coils that deliver electricity to devices, cases, and accessories on contact. It’s a phenomenon known as inductive charging: once a compatible object and the Woolet come into contact, a magnetic field is produced, facilitating the transfer of electronics from pad to battery.
It’s hardly innovative, and indeed, the Woolet is compatible with existing standards of wireless charging — including Qi. But Woolet, unlike most wireless, packs multiple magnetic coils in a single pad. What does that mean in real-world terms? The chances you miss contact on the way to the charger are dramatically reduced, or in other words, you’re way less likely to wake up to a dead phone.
What about the iPhone? The folks behind Woolet offer a solution in the form of a carved, solid oak case with a smooth finish and protective rubber bumpers on all four sides. It’s compatible with the iPhone SE, iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, and 7, and 7 Plus, and ships with an inductive panel built in — once the case is firmly affixed to the iPhone of your choice, placing it on the pad is enough to trigger charging.
That’s not the Woolet’s only differentiating feature. It sports a built-in kickstand, too, for desk-side or kitchen-counter use. It ships with a car mount and leather Mini USB cable, depending on the bundle you choose. And it’s compatible with USB Type-C switches, meaning plugging it in’s an absolute cinch — the plug is bidirectional.
The Woolet charging pad goes for $70, a price that the team behind it said “won’t last.” The in-car edition is a bit more — $119 — and a larger edition of the in-car model starts even higher, at $130. The iPhone case ships for $40. And a bundle with all of the aforementioned items is available for $210.