Hassle free wireless device charging with Duracell’s myGrid

It’s often a wonder that the gadgets we use in this world of wireless devices and WiFi networks still need to be tethered by cords in order to get their daily juice.

How often have you fumbled with or searched for that missing BlackBerry recharging cord? Why can’t all these smartphones have the same cords anyway? For that matter, why don’t we do away with the device cords altogether?

Several cell phone charging pad manufacturers have taken that step as far back as the early 2000s. Duracell’s recent offering, myGrid for the iPhone, I find, is a simple and easy to use alternative both for family and small business use.

myGrid sells for around $75, clips and device sleeves can be had for about $29 to $35.

Product design

At first glance, myGrid’s design might appear a bit dinky. The charging pad has a hard plastic base with flat chrome metal slats on top. However, the Duracell product’s open pad design (other chargers come with cradles or ports to attached your smartphones onto) works very well.

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The pad takes up a small and low profile on flat surfaces and is very stable. I love the basic concept of not having to plug devices onto the charging pad (but you do have to plug in the charging pad).
Once your smartphone has the appropriate sleeve or clip all you need is to place the handheld on the pad and wait for it to fully recharge.

Duracell says myGrid charges as fast as standard wired chargers and can power a variety of gadgets wirelessly, including handsets from Nokia, Motorola, BlackBerry and Apple; as well as some MP3 players.

The super thin charge pad detects when a compatible device is placed on it, and instantly begins charging. The pad will then turn off automatically when nothing is present.

The pad can charge up to four devices.

How to use myGrid

The starter kit comes with a power clip adapter and three power clips. The tips are adjustable. The connectors of the clips slide up and down to accommodate the thickness of the devices to be charged.

The adapter, on the other hand, has an adhesive sticker on the back and is designed to stick to the back of the device that will be charged. The smaller end of the adapter has a magnetic button that is designed to connect to the appropriate power clip for your mobile phone.

The adapter has four contact points on the back. When you lay your phone on the charge pad, these contacts touch the pad’s metal slats and charge your phone.
myGrid packages also come with power sleeves for iPhones and BlackBerry devices. These sleeves can also be purchased separately. You can just slip your wireless device on these pads and lay then on the pad to charge up.

Power Clip clips are compatible with: BlackBerry Pearl 8100 series, Curve 8300 series, 8800 Series, Bold Series, Motorola RAZR series, RAZR V3 Series, MOTOQ Series, W385, W370, Nokia E71 Series, #2610, #6085, #6061

Hardware Specifications

Max Number of Devices: 4
Dimensions: 6.75 in. W x 8.5 in. L x 0.75 in. H
Power input: 100 – 240 VAC, 0.4 Amps, 50 – 60 Hz
Power output: 15 Watts max
Weight: 4.0 oz.
Certifications: UL, FCC, ETL

Ideal users

I tried myGrid for several weeks on an iPhone and an iPod and I found the device very convenient for home use. For once, I didn’t need to look around looking for misplaced adapter cords and then make sure I found the right cord for the device I wanted to charge.

I didn’t find the pad much faster than other chargers but myGrid fully charged the handsets I used. I have read some reports that some of the clips didn’t work. I had no such experience.

While great for home use, I can see how myGrid can ease some recharging anxieties in a small business environment. Once workers have the adapters and clips attached to their phones, all they need is to leave the handsets on the pad.

It’s too bad though that Duracell didn’t come up with a much larger pad for that could handle more than four devices. This would be more useful for offices.

Pros

The myGrid is so easy to use. Just leave the device on the pad and grab them when it’s charged. No need to fumble with cords.

Cons

I think $75 for the pad and up to $35 for additional sleeves is a bit steep. To bad the myGrid can only accommodate four devices at a time.

Conclusion

Recharging handsets this way is definitely way more fun than fooling around with your smartphone’s adapter cord. If Duracell could lower the pad’s price or offer power sleeves at a discount when bought in bulk that could be an incentive for businesses to try out the product.

A larger pad that could accommodate more devices might also be ideal for business use.

But wouldn’t it be real sweet if mobile phone designers could just build a handset that could be laid on a myGrid pad sans sleeve or adapter?

Nestor Arellano is a Senior Writer at ITBusiness.ca. Follow him on Twitter, read his blog, and join the IT Business Facebook Page.

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