Powermat will offer its wireless charging accessory for all cars, but it's not as slick as the Volt's integrated solution.
BARCELONA, Spain--Drivers don't have to buy a Chevrolet Volt to take advantage of wireless smartphone charging in the car. Powermat is releasing its wireless Car Charger later this year.
The windshield-mounted aftermarket accessory is powered by a 12-volt outlet and uses magnetic induction to wirelessly charge devices in the cradle. The Car Charger adjusts its width to hold any of the mobile phones that Powermat supports, and consumers will need to purchase the Powermat Battery Door separately ($19-$29) for each smartphone they wish to charge.
It's not as sleek as the integrated solution in the Volt. Plus, factor in that the cradle is plugged in to the cigarette lighter, and it doesn't look that much different than other mobile-phone car kits on the market. However, it's suitable for cars used by multiple drivers because it eliminates the need to keep redundant sets of chargers for varied devices in the glove box.
Another advantage is that it puts mobile phones more at eye level, with easier access to navigation apps. But many car kits for mobile phones do the same thing. The only reason you would buy this accessory is if you're committing to the wireless charging lifestyle and have already purchased a desktop Powermat.
Of course, Powermat is releasing other wireless charging products in the next year that will make it easier to cut the cord in the house and office. Consumers can expect to see a rechargable backup battery and rechargable travel mat in stores later this year. The company is also marketing a line of Powermat integrated furniture, such as tables that could populate airports, cafes, or other public places. The Car Charger is expected to be released in the U.S. in the third quarter and in the EU in the fourth quarter, and will retail for $59.