Why Powermat might become one of 2012’s must-have tech gadgets

One of our favorite tech gadgets of 2011 was the Powermat, a wireless mat-style charging device that let you juice your gadgets simply by placing them on it. Well, the device proved to be so useful Duracell has joined with Powermat and signed on rapper Jay Z as a celebrity sponsor as part of the company’s expansion into new arenas–literally. The company hopes to eventually make Powermat charging stations available everywhere you are.

If you routinely use a smartphone you probably know what a drag it is to run low on power while snapping pics or shooting video at a concert or sporting event–and Duracell Powermat feels your pain. Among the first places slated to be networked for Powermat use is Madison Square Garden in New York.

A Powermat app is being developed that will notify users when their smartphone batteries are running low and direct them to the nearest charging station.

And GM plans to incorporate Powermat technology into some of their upcoming models, which will allow drivers with Powermat-encased phones to charge them right in the vehicle’s console.

In the press release announcing his partnership with Powermat, Jay Z said, “I believe in the future of wireless energy and I believe that Duracell Powermat is the company to bring on the revolution. I’m partnering with Duracell Powermat because they’re providing the solutions for the future.”

Of course the key here, or at least the ultimate goal, should be to get companies like HTC, Samsung or Apple to build this charging technology directly into their phones so customers won’t need to buy Powermat cases, because not every consumer will , and then figure out how to make the tech work with after market cases.

Here’s the press release:

Las Vegas, NV — CES — (Jan 10, 2012) – Duracell Powermat LLC, the joint venture announced in September 2011 by Procter & Gamble and Powermat became operational today with a dedicated focus on ensuring that consumers never run out of power. Duracell Powermat is committed to ensuring that consumers can continue to live richly mobile lifestyles free of the hassle and fear of watching their batteries die without any convenient way to recharge their smartphones.

More than ever before, we are a population reliant on our mobile devices to get us through the day. We depend on our smartphones for everything from waking us up in the morning, to charting our daily schedules, keeping us entertained and of course, making sure that we can always be reached. Yet, while we rely on our devices to do so much more than ever before, battery power has failed to keep pace with our needs. Too many of us are intimately acquainted with that sinking feeling that comes from the realization that we won’t have enough power to get us through to our next available charge.

In keeping with its mission to ensure that consumers don’t have to forgo the richly mobile lifestyle to which they aspire because of insufficient power, Duracell Powermat is delivering power to consumers ‘in the palm of their hands’ with products that provide easy to access power at home and on-the-go. Duracell Powermat will also begin deploying a network of fast and convenient charging locations in both public and private venues.

The Duracell Powermat “Wireless Power Nation” plan is an ambitious undertaking to bring accessible power to networked venues in everyday consumer-trafficked locations. Among the first settings to be networked is Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City. Consumers will also benefit from a Duracell Powermat “app” that will identify when their smartphones are running low on power and let them know how much power they have left before directing them to the nearest networked location.

“There is a rapidly growing need for smarter power delivery and power accessibility today,” said Stassi Anastassov, President of Duracell and Chairman of Duracell Powermat JV. “There are more than 80 million smartphone users in the USA alone and smartphones are evolving into a universal device that is more and more power hungry. Duracell Powermat is committed to providing solutions to this dilemma both when it comes to the powering options as well as accessibility to power. ”

The new line of Duracell Powermat products provides consumers with unparalleled access to convenient power in a two-part system that pairs newly designed sleek charging mats – in either black or white – with receivers and a portable wirelessly charged backup battery that lets consumers take power with them for up to a full charge while on the go. The new Duracell Powermat complete charging kit will also be available in Q2 2012 to provide consumers with a one-stop option for wireless power.

The joint venture merges Procter &Gamble’s core expertise in consumer understanding, brand-building and go-to-market capability and with Powermat’s technological prowess and ability to create a best-in-class wireless charging experience.

“Duracell Powermat is, first and foremost, about delivering real-life solutions for real power-need situations,” said Ran Poliakine, CEO of Powermat Technologies and a Board Member of Duracell Powermat. “The company is showcasing both its fresh line of products that go on sale next quarter, as well as future innovations that are natural outgrowths of the Duracell Powermat partnership.. The impact that Duracell Powermat will have is truly powerful.”

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