Technically speaking, the WildCharge adapter for the iPhone and iPod touch is actually integrated into a high-quality gel case called “Skins”, a gel covered product made of Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) material. WildCharge wire-free charging technology is located on the back of the case and all you have to do is slip your iPhone or iPod touch into the case and then drop it anywhere on the WildCharger charging pad. It’s that easy. A blue light on the left hand side of the pad lights up notifying you that the juice is pumping through your device.
The silver placemat-like WildCharger pad can charge up to five devices simultaneously (with a maximum power output of 15 Watts), once these are outfitted with the WildCharge adapters. WildCharge hinted that it’s possible for manufacturer to integrate their adapters directly in the devices during manufacture – I’d sure love to see Apple embrace this technology in future iPhone and iPod models! There are half a dozen of phones on my desk at any give time, so you can imagine the clutter from all the wires. They get tangled up, cause my desk to look messy and, worse of all, I’ve got multiple wall-bricks all over the floor underneath my desk. So what’s included? The WildCharger is composed of the charger itself and an AC power adapter, priced at $59.95. I can definitely see myself bringing this on a long road trip to use in hotel rooms. It’s either this or an extension cord because there is hardly ever enough electrical outlets near the nightstand.
As I mentioned earlier, the technology that cuts the power cord on your iPhone or iPod touch is integrated into the back of a gel case, doubling as a protective case for your investment. I personally love the feel of the case or “skin” as Izhar referred to it in the demo video below. The adapter on the back is hardly noticeable. WildCharge plan on releasing a rainbow of colors for you to choose from, starting with black, shiny black, blue, pink, clear and many, many other colors to pick from. If you go with the clear case, you have the option of purchasing one that shows off the guts of the adapter. If that’s your thing, go for it. I prefer the traditional all around black case. Make sure to drop a comment and let me know your favorite color! Ship date is still officially undetermined, but Izhar did mention the iPhone and iPod touch cases “are ready to go, and should launch next month.” The cases will cost $34.95 each. That’s not a bad deal considering most cases on the market average between $15 and $40+.
Slipping the iPhone or iPod touch into the case is pretty simple, taking just seconds to apply. The only suggestion I have for WildCharge is to figure out a way to open up the dock port so that I can sync via my sync cable.
So how does it work? The way I understand it, electrical current is delivered to the shiny metal stripes on the pad from the AC adapter, which is then passed to the little metal bumps (aka the adapter) and then on to the iPhone or iPod touch. Yes I’m aware this technology has been around for ages, but heck, the folks at WildCharge figured out an ingenious way to put it into practice. All I care about is charging takes the same amount of time with WildCharge as it would plug in.
In conclusion, I love the technology and I love that it finally cuts the (almost) last cord attached to my iPhone! Is WildCharge right for you? Well, only you can answer that. Before making the purchase, factor in the price of $60 for the WildCharger pad and an additional $35 per adapter for your iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry 8800, Pearl or a third-gen iPod. At the end of the day, if you have the cash and find the product convenient to have, then make the purchase.
WildCharge road map…
Yes, I’d mentioned the BlackBerry 8800, Pearl, and third-gen iPod adapters earlier and yes, they are coming soon. In the case of the BlackBerry 8800, the version I saw didn’t have a pass through for a USB plug. Izhar briefly mentioned they’re looking into the “possibility” of making the mod to accommodate it. And you’re probably wondering what if you have a Samsung, Motorola or Nokia handset? Well, rest assured that WildCharge is planning to release a universal adapter with exchangeable tips. While I’m not allowed to say too much, what I’m permitted to share is that the adapter has a magnet that’ll attach to the back of your handset with an arm-like extension outwards towards the power adapter, whether it be a USB, miroUSB or even a proprietary plug such as on Samsung handsets.
Reference design for the iPod nano.
In theory…this is how I’d like for things to look in the future…