Duracell is bringing mobile charging pads to Los Angeles. No, it’s not like the locker boxes you see at festivals or the kiosks at airports it’s a charging pad they call the Duracell Powermat. I was at a Coffee Bean yesterday in Beverly Hills and I bumped into a marketing rep promoting the product. The promotion is called Power Up. She said the LA market is a test market where they’ve partnered with folks like Coffee Bean and McDonalds.
Users are issued a USB dongle that attaches to the bottom of your phone. There is an Android and iPhone version. Then, you place your phone near one of the charging mats and it charges your phone. In truth, I did get the dongle but haven’t had time to try it out yet, but I think the concept is interesting. Not to mention if any company were to do this kind of technology well I would trust longtime battery maker Duracell. I can already hear the health nuts complaining about pumping wireless electricity in the air and the potential health drawbacks. I am sure the amount of electricity in the air is negligible with all the wifi gadgets we have all over the place. I’ll gladly take the risk to keep my phone recharged. Guess we won’t know the long term effects if any, for a bit longer. I do have a friend with an electric heart valve (she’s in her 30’s ) I wonder if this would be dangerous for her.
There were some obvious drawbacks and some questions . The first being security. You basically have to place your phone on the table near strangers to let it charge. In all of our paranoid minds this sets us up to have our precious phones stolen. The other big question was that the rep didn’t say how long it would take to charge your phone. People already hog up tons of seating at coffee shops this would keep them there even longer.
Duracell makes a bunch of extra accessories to make going to different locations easy and you find the locations by downloading an app called Powermatrix in iTunes or the Google Play store.