Mobile Systems Due For a 'WildCharge'
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Mobility is going to be a big trend at the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. In addition to the many new notebooks and smart phones, startup WildCharge is slated to preview its unique charging technology.
WildCharge, based in Scottsdale, AZ, said it has the first true full-power, wire-free electricity for mobile consumer electronics devices.
WildCharger is a flat, thin and flexible charging pad the company said is capable of delivering up to 90 watts of power, enough to simultaneously charge and power most laptop computers and an assortment of small devices placed anywhere on its surface.
A second product, the WildCharger Mini, delivers up to 15 watts of power, and is capable of simultaneously powering and charging three or four small devices such as cellular phones, portable music players, digital cameras and other products.
However, the charging pad needs its own power source, either a battery or an electric cord. Also, the devices need a small adaptor to receive the charge, just as Wi-Fi-enabled devices need an adaptor to receive a wireless signal. As an add on, the adaptors will cost in the $8-$10 range, according to WildCharge president Izhar Matzkvich.
"We're also working with multiple companies, laptop and cellular players and various industries to have the solution embedded in their products," Matzkvich told internetnews.com.
Both products are on track to be available in the first half of this year, perhaps as soon as later this quarter. "What we'll show at CES is close to the finished product," said Matzkvich.
Analyst Roger Kay said he is always leery of any new battery or charging technology until he sees it. "This is an area that evolves slowly, there's no silver bullet," said Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "I would like to see how this work to understand where it could be useful."
That said, Kay conceded if it works, "anything that gets you less cords and cables is cool."
Matzkvich declined to get into much detail about the technology behind WildCharge. He did say that testing by several unnamed potential partner companies under non-disclosure, confirmed the technology is safe and that there are no interference issues with other sources of power or electricity.
"It's based on very simple science, a brilliant use of EE 101 and geometry," said Matzkvich, who also said the firm recently received approval of a patent on its core technology and has others pending.
The technology is the brainchild of Mitch Randall, chief technology officer at WildCharge, whose original idea was to use it to power toys. Matzkvich said an episode of the ABC show Alias used WildCharge technology to power a tiny robot bug that crawled in a pattern across a room.
WildCharger and WildCharger Mini are expected to sell at retail for about $100 and $40 respectively. Matzkvich said the company is also developing units that provide more power than the initial two.