It’s taken about a year since announcing the standard, but finally there is a product to represent the Wireless Power Consortium. It’s from the folks at Energizer and much like the Hug and PowerMat products it lets you charge your iPhone or Blackberry without any wires tethered to your device. You’ll still need a special pad and case (or battery), but it essentially means that any future products released by any brand sporting the Wireless Power Consortium logo, Qi, will be backwards compatible. So if you buy Energizer’s Inductive Charger system (mat and case) for the iPhone, and switch to a Blackberry down the road, you’ll only need to purchase a compatible battery. On the other hand you could use any charger that sports a Qi logo, regardless of the manufacturer. So hopefully these will pop up at airports and train stations.
Energizer’s offering allows you to charge up to 3 devices simultaneously. Unlike Powermat’s offering, Energizer says that you don’t have to find a sweet spot to make sure your gadgets are charging. Presumably you can just place them down any where on the mat in whatever orientation and they’ll charge, provided of course that they’re equal or less than 5v.
Word is that the Inductive Charger will be available this October for about $90 and the cases/batteries will run $35 a piece.