发表于 2009-10-16 17:25:45
本帖最后由 riverpeak 于 2009-10-16 23:37 编辑 |
October 14, 2009 , 8:06 am Cut the Cords and Charge It
By Eric A. Taub
Wireless magnetic induction charging is, after several years’promise, finally on the market. Now you can charge your iPhone,BlackBerry and other hand-held devices by placing them on a pad from Powermat — without any wired connection.
The concept and execution are very cool. Unfortunately, the concept is much cooler than the product’s utility.
Which is not surprising. High-tech products — think AT&T’s Picturephone of the 1960s — often appear before there’s a reason for their existence.
With Powermat, you can charge up to three devices simply by laying them down on the special pad. When they’re in the right place, apleasing tone sounds and you feel a slight magnetic tug.
To get the pad to transfer power to the batteries, each device needs a special sensor. With a BlackBerry, you replace the standard battery cover with a Powermat version. Because the iPhone doesn’t have aremovable battery, the Powermat sensor is incorporated into a special iPhone case. Both increase the weight and depth of the devices to which they’re attached. If you didn’t want an iPhone case, you’ll be using one now.
Other similar devices are sold for the Nintendo DS and DS Lite.Apple products that use a dock, like some iPod models, can use a special Powermat dock that sits on the pad. And each pad comes with a number of universal tips attached to a small cube; the tips fit a wide range of cellphones and Bluetooth devices like earpieces.
The devices and the packaging looks as if an ex-Apple designer washired to create them. Each product sports clean lines, pleasing colors and a perfect, sparing simplicity. The boxes in which they come deserve their own unboxing videos on YouTube.
But people don’t buy products just because they look good. Accordingto Ron Ferber, Powermat’s president, people will like the system because it gets rid of the tangle of charging cords and power bricks on one’s desk. And it eliminates the tangle of cords when traveling.
It even saves energy, because charging cords draw power even whennot connected to a device. Powermat’s does as well, but it draws less.
But do you really need to spend up to $250 ($100 for a charging mat,and $30 to $40 for each charging device) to just eliminate a littleclutter? The travel version of the Powermat folds up in thirds andcomes in its own hand some case, but several charging cords wouldn’t take up any more room.
If you’re annoyed with having to simultaneously find three wallplugs for all your portable devices, here’s a better and cheapersolution: buy yourself an extension cord for a few bucks, stuff thecables under the desk and throw them in a drawer when you’re done.