In my dorm room at Drake University, my room mate and I make up for lack of electrical outlets by using 3 power strips. In those power strips, we have plugged in 2 computer chargers, 2 printers, 1 Dynex television, 1 iPhone charger, 1 Blackberry charger, 1 iTouch charger, 1 Xbox 360, 1 Nintendo DS charger, 1 Super Nintendo, 1 microwave, and 1 mini fridge. 13 plug-ins, 6 of which are attributed to chargers for various devices.
We’ve all been through the same situation: you have way many cords plugged in to one outlet, and not one of them can fit your cell phone charger. A new innovation called Powermat could help revolutionize charging and cord organization
All you have to do to charge your portable devices is plug in your mat to one outlet and drop your device in one of the three spaces. Also, you must have a receiver so that your device can communicate with the mat. Receivers can be attached to devices like Blackberries ($29.99) and the Nintendo DS ($29.99), and you can also buy an Apple case ($39.99) with the receiver attached, or an Apple dock ($39.99) that will transmit to the mat. You aren’t limited to these devices though; using the universal powercube receiver ($29.99) and various USB adaptors that are included with the mat, you can charge anything from your PSP to a MacBook without messing with your plugs.
How on earth does this work? Well, when you drop your device on the mat the attached receiver is magnetically assigned the closest of the three power supplies. In other words, the mat sends your device a charge through magnetic force.
There are a lot of other cool power-saving features too. The mat calculates exactly how much power will be needed to achieve a full charge, then safely and evenly spreads charge time between objects. When the device is done charging, the mat automatically turns it off to save battery life and electricity. If the battery depletes again after it is fully charged, Powermat reactivates and recharges the device.
I can see a lot of potential in this technology. It gets rid of cord-clutter, which everyone should appreciate, and it also reduces the amount of energy that would be used, for instance, charging your cell phone overnight. Because Powermat only permits enough power to fully charge the battery, it could reduce energy costs in the household as well as your carbon footprint. The only criticisms I have at the moment are that the charging cases are a bit bulky (especially for the DS), and that it seems like it would be difficult to use the devices while you are charging them.