Wireless power puts new gloss on mat

A new wireless power technology tucked inside an oversized mouse-mat might mean an end to multiple chargers and cables everywhere

A wireless power technology that recharges mobile gadgets without cables has been launched with the developer, Californian start-up MobileWise Inc, already having signed a deal with Acer as its first laptop partner.

MobileWise unveiled its Wire-Free-Electricity base at the end of last month; a large powered desk-mat studded with tiny electrodes. When a compatible device is placed on the mat, chips in the mat and the device negotiate power requirements and electrode configuration and the mat switches the right voltage to the right connection.

Other conductors put on the mat -- metal objects, coffee spillages, human flesh -- don't trigger the electrodes and remain safe. The company says the device is also safe for magnetic or other electrical devices, because it doesn't use any form of radiation or AC, will track devices if they're moved around on the mat and is fine to use as a mouse mat.

Meanwhile, Acer has announced that it will be the first major manufacturer to include MobileWise charging technology in its products. "Acer will be the first to deliver a mobile PC that offers true mobility, added-value, and ease of use to customers;" said Arif Maskatia, vice president and chief technology officer of Acer. "Safe wire-free electricity is something the market has been waiting for, and Acer once again proves its leading position."

The mat will charge and power multiple devices placed on it, and MobileWise envisions the technology becoming available in public places and on transport. The company's founders include Bill Maggs, former chief technical officer of Palm, Andy Goren, former chief executive of LapJack, and Talk Dayen, former chief executive of M-Systems.

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