Tech Toy of the Month: WildCharge Wireless Charging Pad

Imagine being able to charge devices such as cell phones or iPods simply by laying them down on a pad. You would not need to connect any wires to the device – you simply lay it down on a pad and it charges. On top of that, you could charge multiple devices on the same pad. If the WildCharge ( wireless charging pad delivers as promised, you will soon be able to stop imagining and start doing.

As with many great technologies, the idea is simple and so is the way you use it. In fact, just a few paragraphs from WildCharge’s web site pretty much explain the technology:

The WildCharger pad is flat and thin with a conductive surface. Once a cell phone or other electronic device that is enabled with WildCharge technology is placed on the pad anywhere on the pad and at any orientation it will instantaneously receive power from the pad. It is that simple. And charging speed is the same as if the device is plugged to the wall!

Enabling a portable electronic device with WildCharge technology is also simple. A WildCharge adapter attaches to or outright replaces the device’s back cover. This adapter has tiny external bumps (contact-points) that come in physical contact with the pad.

Once a compatible electronic device is placed on the WildCharger pad, power is transferred from the pad’s surface through the contact-points to the WildCharge adapter and into the device. The geometries of the charging surface and the contact-points guaranty that regardless of where the device is placed on the pad’s surface, a closed electrical circuit is formed between the surface and the device. Such direct contact allows for a very efficient and safe power transfer without generating harmful radiation or magnetic fields.

One catch to their technology is that the device you want to charge must be “enabled”, which as explained above, requires an adapter made for that specific device. Since the product is on the verge of being released, only adapters for the Motorola Razor phone and the iPod Nano are being released right away. Obviously, if WildCharge releases a substantial number of adapters for various devices, this won’t be such a problem. This will be especially true if WildCharge works with device manufacturers to ensure that devices are WildCharge compatible out of the box.

Another potential drawback I can foresee is that users who have devices in cases or protective covers will need to take their devices out to charge them. Naturally, this can be quite inconvenient and limit acceptance of the WildCharge product. Potentially, I can imagine that cases could also be made WildCharge compatible, so we will see how the market develops.

I could see myself using this technology at home on a regular basis. But I’m not so sure I would use it on the go. There are already so many gadgets and accessories to lug around when going international, and I’m not convinced an additional charger would make the cut. It took me long enough to come up with my 10 picks for travel power adapters before choosing the most versatile one. I could not bring an extra charger that doesn’t even work on all my devices.

The products seem reasonably priced, as a WildCharger pad and a device adapter bundle is listed for $89.99 on WildCharge’s web site. So if you don’t like plugging in your devices to charge them, keep an eye out for WildCharge’s products to be released soon.