Recently I discovered the Duracell Powermat Ring, which allows you to charge your phone by plugging a ring into it and placing it over a powermat. Currently Starbucks is partnering with Duracell Powermat and provides the mats along with complimentary rings (you can also purchase rings behind the counter).

I was immediately struck by the simple and effective design of it. The last time I had encountered a powermat a few years ago it required that you have a specific case and phone to use it. Now, anyone with an iPhone or Android can utilize wireless charging. I appreciate the portable convenience of the ring (it’s very small and light) in addition to the simple, clean design. 

The technology behind it is quite ingenious and involves magnetic induction and converting between magnetic energy to electrical current, along with patented transmitting technology between the transmitter (Tx) and the receiver (Rx). The technology is intelligent, and only charges powermat devices, and supposedly is able to detect when your device is fully charged, cutting off energy and reducing waste. This has great implications for the environment, in addition it extends devices’ battery life.

This device opens up lots of possibilities not only for charging devices or machines (think electric cars), but also inspires me to think about more uses for magnetic induction. I envision wearable rings that unlock doors through magnetic and Tx/Rx transmitting technology, or chips that can be built into any object.