Israeli startup Powermat 390.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Powermat)
Anouk Lorie and Tiffany Stelman write for NoCamels
My friend got an iPhone 4S. She could not stop bragging about it and all
the amazing apps she now uses “every single minute of the day.” I know
that to be false. How? Because the iPhone 4S battery doesn’t last a
whole day. In fact, it doesn’t even last a few hours if you use a
On the way from Tel Aviv to Mitzpe
Ramon in the Negev desert, my other friend with an iPhone 4S (what’s
wrong with a good old Nokia!?) used Waze, the free GPS navigation app.
It showed us where there’s a cop, where there’s traffic. It was awesome.
Until the iPhone dropped dead, two hours in.
Needless to say, smartphones are great, but for their short battery life.
is, apparently, where Israeli startup Powermat comes in. It develops
cable-free charging surfaces for electric devices. Plop your phone onto
the mat (it looks like a mousepad) and it automatically starts charging.
Powermat’s launch in 2009, the company has gone a long way in improving
its technology and creating major partnerships, with Proctor &
Gamble, for example and with popular American rapper Jay-Z.
September 2011 Powermat announced a joint venture with Proctor &
Gamble – the company that owns Duracell. Together, the two are hoping to
shape a wireless charging revolution under the Duracell-Powermat brand.
of the key benefits of entering into the joint venture is the ability
to leverage our global reach and branding capability,” says Scott
Eisenstein, Powermat’s VP of public relations. This month it was
reported that the company is raising $30-40 million in a financing
In addition, American rapper Jay-Z has signed on as the
spokesman for Duracell- Powermat and has joined as an investment
partner. “You can look to him to be the face of wireless power going
forward,” says Einstein. (Nothing less.)
According to Eisenstein,
“We are trying to introduce our technology to a larger audience and
Jay-Z speaks to a generation that is poised to bring about the wireless
So how does Powermat actually work? The
technology uses magnetic induction. It creates a magnetic field and
transfers energy within that field. Eisenstein explains that
“Duracell-Powermat is a two-part offering: we attach a cover to the
user’s cellular device that contains wireless capabilities. The second
part is the mat itself. The user places the Smartphone directly on the
mat, resulting in maximum efficiency of the energy transfer.”
technology also senses when a device is fully charged, and then halts
power delivery, thus eliminating energy waste. Einstein says that “due
to the fact that the technology operates on energy, there is no
radiation emitted by the process of wireless charging. There is no
possibility for electrocution, fires and it is even possible to work the
Last year, Powermat announced a
collaboration with General Motors. Eisenstein says that this
collaboration “is moving forward, starting with the 2013 line of cars.
The cars will have Duracell-Powermat wireless capabilities built-in and
they will be available later on in 2012. GM plans to eventually
introduce wireless capabilities to its entire fleet.”
pursuing standardization in wireless charging with the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), called the Power Matters
Alliance (PMA). “The IEEE are setting a standard for wireless power for
the average consumer in conjunction with many other companies, including
General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, Facebook and Google to make power
not only wireless but also smart,” says Eisenstein.
recently exhibited a new line of products which represent the company’s
future plans, such as the Powermat backup battery. “It lets you charge
on the Powermat and take wireless power with you, so that you can
basically charge when you are in an open field,” adds Eisenstein.
Eisenstein mentions that the company plans to expand into global markets, including Israel.NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News