Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch
Powermat has an exclusive looking booth at CES. I got an appointment to go in and see what their technology has in store for charging gadgets. The basic rundown of Powermat is:
You have a single mat that plugs into the wall. Each of your devices utilizes a special charging adaptor specific for its needs, and you just set the device on the mat to start charging via magnetic induction.
I was told that because there's only one wire going to the wall, users are eliminating a significant amount of vampire power. But there doesn't seem to be any specifics out about that and it carries the odor of greenwashing.
Plus, the mat is $100, and each adapter is $30. So it's expensive, and you have to buy all new adapters for gadgets that already come with chargers. Wasteful.
The booth is super exclusive, the run-through was a bit overly slick, so it had the feel of more show than substance, and the literature is extremely vague on any energy savings this actually provides. So while this seems pretty cool, and I'm sure has a lot going for it in the future, I distrust just how green this actually is.
What does seem neat, though, is that the technology used for the mat can be used in walls and counter tops. So you can run devices without plugging them directly into the wall.
I am assured that 100% of the power draw is cut off when a device is removed from the charging area. But again - I'm highly skeptical of any real energy savings.
More on CES 2009:
CES 2009: Sustainable Planet Zone is Mostly Solar Junk
CES 2009: LG and GotWind's Mobile Phone Charging Station (Video)
CES 2009: Powermat Sports Green Charging, Or Does It?
CES 2009: Nokia Working to Walk the Green Talk
CES 2009: Schwinn's Tailwind Bike Uses Exclusive Toshiba Battery Tech (Video)
CES 2009: Motorola Launches The First Carbon Neutral Cell Phone
Are Green Gadgets Really Greener This Year At CES?
CES 2009: Christopher Knight Helps Kick off Green Plug's First Product
CES 2009: The Greener Gadgets Wild Goose Chase
CES 2009: Fuji Rolls Out Greenwashed EnviroMAX Batteries