gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Wild Charger Wireless Charging Pad Review

Wireless chargers are coming thick and fast as a forefront to a possible revolution in charging and power distribution. The ultimate goal, of course, is for every device to have wireless charging integrated, and your desk, tables and other furniture to have distribution systems to keep everything charged no matter where you might carelessly leave it.

Wildcharge is a curious entrant to this revolution, because it’s one of the few to simply not use the inductive power technology which will make this technological dream ultimately possible. Instead, it uses a direct electrical connection between the device being charged and the charger itself.

The way this connection is achieved is clever, however, the surface of the charger itself is striped with live electrical contacts. They’re safe to touch, but I wouldn’t recommend licking them just in case. The universal adaptor for charging your devices, and the slip-on cases which make your devices compatible with WildCharger each have a trifecta of small contacts, arranged in a triangle and designed to touch the charging surface almost always in exactly the right places to create a through connection. It’s a barmy idea in the face of inductive charging, but it works and is, presumably, considerably more efficient than attempting to send power through the air.

I tested an early version of the WildCharger wireless charging pad, which didn’t come with the array of eight universal connector adaptors that the version available from Proporta contains, but did come with a slip case for the iPhone. The trouble with the case, of course, is that it prevents you from using your otherwise favourite device case and doesn’t do the looks of your device much justice. This is a shame, as truly integrated and discrete wireless power would be quite stunning and infinitely more useful.

WildCharger can charge up to 5 devices simultaneously, although it would be quite a challenge to fit that many phones, Nintendo DSes or other handhelds on or around the charging pad you can certainly buy up to 5 of the “charging hubs” (also sold separately) which each include the eight adaptors and attempt to..

The main benefit of WildCharger and, indeed, other wireless charging solutions is not the pseudo drop-your-device-and-forget wireless charging capability, but rather the fact that it funnels all of your chargers into one mains connection rather than an impossible-to-manage mess of chargers and obnoxiously huge wall-warts. I would assume, also, that it’s more energy efficient than such a tangle of chargers, with a single bottleneck for voltage conversion rather than 5 less energy would be lost as heat.

Overall the Wildcharger is an excellent device for avoiding “cable salad” and even though it may not be on the forefront of inductive charging technology it can charge more devices simultaneously than the inductive Powermat. What a way to stick it to cutting edge technology with plain old simplicity!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, Gadgets.