We loved the Touchstone wireless charger for our Palm Pre, and expected to see similar solutions breaking out for other handsets, but it seems manufacturers are still struggling to come up with anything as discrete and as elegant.
So far, all of the ‘wireless charging solutions’ we’ve seen require users to strap on ugly backs to their phones, adding unnecessary bulk and weight.
Sadly, Case-Mate’s Hug $99 wireless iPhone charger is yet another example, with the wireless charging only doing its stuff after you’ve bolted on the “protective case and charging pad” (i.e. the chunky back) to your iPhone.
Having to fiddle about with cables just to charge your phone seems ridiculously old school, but it looks like iPhone users are going to have to wait longer to enjoy the built-in charging of the Palm Pre.
We want wireless sync
Of course, what we’re really waiting for is a combined wireless charger/USB port, so that slapping the phone on the charger would not only charge up the battery, but sync content too.
Here’s Case-mate’s press release, complete with some glorious old tosh about “hugging your iPhone back to life” and the design being inspired by the, “flowing lines of the golden age of sport automotive design.”
Case-mate Hug Now Available
Mobile Users Can Now Purchase the First Charging Pad Developed in Concert With the Wireless Power Consortium
Case-mate, a designer of innovative accessories for mobile devices and electronics, today announced the availability of the Hug, a new protective case and charging pad for the iPhone® that showcases the evolution of wireless power. Created to give iPhone users a more convenient way to charge, the design-forward Hug delivers power without cumbersome cords or adaptors.
“The mobile phone is undoubtedly one of the most essential electronic devices to consumers today,” said Shashi Reddy, founder and CEO of Case-mate. “And with the availability of the Hug, we’re giving iPhone users a new way to easily re-charge – helping them get just a little more convenience and reliability out of the device that they so strongly rely upon each day.”
Hug Your Battery To Life
As the first charging pad to come out of a partnership with the Wireless Power Consortium, the Hug has been created to give Apple® iPhone 3G and Apple iPhone 3GS users a wire-free charging experience. Users simply slip their iPhone into the sleek Hug case and then place the phone onto the Hug charging pad.
Key product features include:
* Efficient – The Hug delivers a “smart charge.” It knows when the iPhone has reached a complete charge and, at that time, stops pulling power.
* Convenient – The Hug charges just as fast as traditional chargers, but without the hassle of cords and wires. Instead the charging pad transfers power wirelessly through a magnetic field to the iPhone enclosed in the Hug case.
* Design-Forward – The Hug, featuring a sleek two-part case and a charging mat, is constructed with durable injection-molded materials with true aluminum metal and accents. Its form factor was inspired by the flowing lines of the golden age of sport automotive design.
* Added Protection – The Hug comes with a durable, shock absorbing case and a charging pad. A screen protection kit is also included for total iPhone protection.
* Interoperable – The Hug is the first charging pad to be is designed in accordance to the specifications of the Wireless Power Consortium.
Pricing and Availability
The Case-mate Hug is now available for the Apple iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS at www.case-mate.com. The Hug, which includes the charging pad, iPhone case and screen protection kit, retails for $99.99. Versions will be available for additional mobile devices, including most BlackBerry models in the coming months. Case-mate will also offer a Hug that supports the charging of multiple devices simultaneously.