July 22, 2014

Duracell showcases Powermat WiCC, the future of wireless charging

powermat-wicc

Duracell’s Powermat is a pretty well-known name in the mobile industry, offering wireless charging for various smartphones over the past several years. There’s a base station that actually does the charging, and then a proprietary replacement battery door that would connect to the base station to receive the charge; think Touchstone for Palm Pre. The downside to the system is that earlier models tended to lean toward the clunky side, and all of the models were a bit pricey.

Recognizing these shortcomings, Duracell has introduced a new design in the mix, the Powermat WiCC. The WiCC is a wafer-thin conductor that takes the place of the replacement battery door of their previous design. The difference comes with the WiCC sitting unseen under the OEM battery door, pulling the power from the Powermat base station. These would be cheaper to manufacture, since Duracell would be able to create just a few different generic designs, rather than specifically tailoring these to each mobile device. Beyond charging, each WiCC also brings NFC function, allowing non-NFC device owners to get into the fun. At MWC, Duracell had one of these on a demo Samsung Galaxy S II, which Engagdet was able to test, coming away impressed.

Now don’t expect to be able to pick one of these up anytime soon. Duracell has to do a bit of courting with device manufacturers to be able to implement this technology, though they seem confident given the low cost of integrating it into device design. Even then, the WiCC devices probably won’t hit anytime this year. Still, there’s a tremendous amount of potential here.

Is this something that you would buy? Could this be the next generation in wireless charging? Let us know in the comments!