Could wireless charging be the next technological battleground? Let's hope so...
The 'PowerPad' has been made specifically with the iPhone 3G and 3GS in mind and takes a somewhat different path to the many conductive charging approaches out there (contact points in a charge pad). Instead it uses inductive charging (like Powermat) where power is simply transmitted through the case to the iPhone battery (think of your electric toothbrush). The result is an iPhone can be placed anywhere on the charging mat to operate and doesn't require bulky magnets to keep the case in the right position to be charged.
A case does need to be used with this system, but it has been designed to also be used day to day as a protective cover which should add convenience. As for charge times Gear4 claims its inductive system has the same charge time as a standard wired charger - something which is crucial to the long term success of wireless charging.
"Our vision of the future of wireless power is what makes this product launch so significant," said Gear4 CEO Tom Dudderidge. "We believe that wireless charging will become pervasive over the next decade, lead by the widespread adoption of standards. The launch of PowerPad represents the start of this transition."
Dudderidge is right, we do need to find a common standard to move things on but - as with Draft N wireless - common sense can go a long way in the meantime while industry bodies squabble about micro detail.
Until then, at £79.99 the PowerPad may not be cheap but when it arrives in November it will represent another highly desirable step into the future. Let the battle commence!