SEVEN

LaunchPort – Wireless charging for iPad

Inductive charging is what it’s all about. The ability to charge an electronic device without connecting it to a wire has been around for a surprisingly long time, think about your rechargeable toothbrush that sits in it’s dock to charge, but is free from wires while you use it; that’s inductive charging. It uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between devices and allows charging. Currently the gap between the coupling components that send and receive the energy is quite small so relatively speaking contact is required, but as the technology develops we are already seeing the possibility of electric cars being charged from a sending “pad” embedded in a driveway with a receiver installed on the underside of a car. The car can then charge it’s batteries without the need to plug it in. This could also be employed in car park bays or roadside parking meters.

But what does it mean for home technologies? You can already purchase inductive charging solution that can be built into work surfaces, place your mobile on the designated area and next time you pick up your phone , the battery is full, but where can it all lead? For a start could we start to see mains plug sockets that are paired to a electric device negating the need for all those power cords at the back of your AV cabinet? Speakers that have batteries built into them charged via inductive charging and connected to your network via wifi to receive it’s signal… a truly wireless speaker.

For now we are looking at low power charging solutions for mobile phones, tablets etc. Enter Launchport.

LaunchPort is a revolutionary a way to mount and charge your iPad, virtually anywhere. The LaunchPort system consists of a Sleeve and any number of Stations. A Sleeve is a case that fits onto your iPad. A Station is the mount and charging unit that interacts with a Sleeve. A system requires a Sleeve and a Station.

Magnets are used to mount and affix your iPad in its Sleeve to a Station. The tabletop BaseStation only uses some of the magnets in the LaunchPort system, making it easier to grab and go. The WallStation uses all magnets in the system for secure and safe mounting. The magnets are located on the Sleeve case which means you can also mount it to any metallic surface like a refrigerator or work bench. It’s really secure, we held our iPad upside down and gave it a shake while attached to a sample wall mount and it stayed in place…phew! The tabletop “hold” is less strong so it’s easier to lift it free. All in all it’s a great solution for those wanting to use an iPad as a control device in a larger control system but are worried they would be looking for the iPad all the time. This gives it a home, somewhere it can be docked when not in use and you know when you pick it up it’s going to be fully charged.

You can see their demonstration video here: http://www.launchport.com/products