To the test – Powermat
by Keris Lahiff
For the average consumer, a good proportion of the everyday necessities – keys, wallet, phone, iPod – requires power. The Powermat has identified this, realising that with the consumer becoming increasingly gadget-laden, the need for a one-stop energy source could be a tech lifesaver.
It’s an ingenious concept – the premise is that the time-poor can simply plop their device-in-need-of-charging on the mat and it automatically charges. Unfortunately, there’s a little bit more to it than that. In fact, for all the simplicity it boasts, it’s actually the opposite.
For one, the device requires its own power point. And then, the Powermat is only half of the necessary equipment. For most devices, such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, a magnetic case needs to be fitted (which requires additional purchases). Or you can use the Universal Charger set included with the Powermat, which has multiple connections for common devices but storing and connecting these seems as difficult as the original – and free – chargers that come with the devices (and given its price at just under $200 for the base unit, it needs to offer the consumer greater incentive to purchase).
So, while the idea is futuristic, the design is ambitious, asking consumers to fulfill a need that is already satisfactorily fulfilled by the free charger in the box – making it an arbitrary piece of technology.
In saying that, however, Powermat as a company is one to look to for future innovations. Hopefully, increased research and development into a more convenient power source for a wide range of devices will translate to a re-release worthy of its price tag.
Published on: Monday, January 10, 2011