Update: According to Launchport the preorder fee ($10) is actually a deposit good towards the purchase price.
3 years ago Palm made headlines by introducing not only a new handset, the Palm Pre, but by including an optional base that utilized inductive charging, as in magnets, to charge the smartphone. To charge it you just laid the handset onto the surface and assuming the two devices were aligned properly charging would commence sans wires. Following that a number of aftermarket options, such as Powermat, broke onto the scene, but in the end the tech has yet to see mass adoption, large in part because you still need to physically place your phone directly onto a pad. Despite the slow adoption rate, that hasn’t stopped Launchport from jumping on the inductive charging bandwagon, though they’ve hedged their bets considerably by targeting iPad users.
Much like Powermat, the Launchport requires that you retrofit a case to the iPad which no doubt plugs into its 30-pin port. Two versions of the charging base are offered: one that mounts into your home’s wall and one that simply sits on the desktop holding the iPad at a convenient 45 degree angle. While both cost $200, a daunting amount of cash to charge a $400+ device, the wall version will require a relatively significant installation, that is assuming you want a seamless experience. However, once installed, it will double as a magnetic mount, not only charging the iPad but enabling you to stick it to the wall and leave loved ones notes as to your where abouts, as seen in the product video.
Unfortunately, the cost doesn’t stop there as you’ll also need to throw down an additional $150 for the compatible case, which includes “a built-in wave guide for the iPad 2 speaker that allows the sound to be directed back at you” and lets you stick the iPad 2 to any magnetic metal surface. Nonetheless, the price is hardly justifiable in our minds, but perhaps they’re counting on the convenience of a wall mountable charger being just too hard to resist.
Did we mention that they’re demanding an additional $10 if you preorder the device? Odd, because usually early adopters are awarded for their bravery, not punished. Launchport better get their act together quick, otherwise they’ll find themselves with an overpriced paperclip holder.
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