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GM Cars Get Wireless iPhone Chargers

By - Source: GM PR via Email | B 21 comments

General Motors just announced that it was invested $5 million in Powermat, a company that makes wireless gadget chargers.

Since virtually all modern cars today come standard or can be ordered with iPod plugs, it's now time to take care of getting rid of that old charging cable: GM says that wireless charging should be available in a range of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars beginning in mid-2012.

“Imagine a mat or shelf where you could put your iPhone, your Droid or other personal device and charge it automatically while you commute to work, run errands or as you’re driving on a family vacation,” said Micky Bly, GM’s lead electronics executive, including infotainment, hybrids and battery electric vehicles.

We are aware of that wireless charging mat, but have to admit that it would be rather enticing option if you could charge your phone and MP3 player simply by placing it on a space somewhere on your center console and/or dedicated space in the doors. While I am thinking about it, this may actually be a good idea for the cup holders since this is the place my phone usually ends up

GM said that the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle will be among the first vehicles to get this feature. GM also needs to consider that a special adapter needs to be attached to the device for it to charge wirelessly on the mat.

Add your comment Display 21 Comments.
  • 3 Hide
    loomis86 , January 8, 2011 1:35 AM
    weeeeelll...

    they gotta do something to overcome all that negative publicity of taking public money to bail their ass out. This aint enuf tho, GM. Keep workin at it.

    bastards
  • -1 Hide
    edilee , January 8, 2011 1:59 AM
    loomis86weeeeelll...they gotta do something to overcome all that negative publicity of taking public money to bail their ass out. This aint enuf tho, GM. Keep workin at it.bastards


    Weeeelll...it wasn't our decision to use our money to bail them out...that decision was made for us just like everything else this current governing body is doing. If I am not mistaken they have paid back all the money that was loaned to them. If the choice had been given to me to make on whether to loam GM the $$ they needed to re-organize then I would have done it without hesitation...it was some of the other bailouts that shouldn't have been done...I am talking about corporations that took the money then proceeded to use it to give million dollar bonuses to their executives. When your company is in financial trouble you DO NOT give bonuses to any employee...this is just common sense.

    Aside from that...why do they call it wireless charging when it is not wireless at all? There is a connector that connects to the phone or device and it lays on the charging pad which aloows the power to flow...this is not wireless. As far as I know you cannot charge a battery through the air (wirelss), it has to connect directly to a power source.
  • 1 Hide
    jinxlab , January 8, 2011 2:34 AM
    Wireless
    To be without wires! Kind of like the Powermat...
  • -1 Hide
    spidey81 , January 8, 2011 2:57 AM
    wait...isn't this cordless charging technology...and furthermore, is it just Iphone charging?? Don't most new vehicles come with usb interfaces that have Ipod controls!?
  • -1 Hide
    spidey81 , January 8, 2011 2:57 AM
    wait...isn't this cordless charging technology...and furthermore, is it just Iphone charging?? Don't most new vehicles come with usb interfaces that have Ipod controls!?
  • -1 Hide
    zybch , January 8, 2011 4:01 AM
    Whats the point?!
    Making you have to plug in the wireless charging module into your device so your device can use a wireless charging pad/system is freaking stupid.
    Once some forward thinking manufacturer integrates the received into their devices (like Palm did) this might be good, but until that time its just a stupid idea that results in even more cables, and disconectable (losable) ones at that.
  • 1 Hide
    jaysbob , January 8, 2011 5:18 AM
    Tesla saw it almost 100 years ago
  • 0 Hide
    BulkZerker , January 8, 2011 8:44 AM
    zybchWhats the point?!Making you have to plug in the wireless charging module into your device so your device can use a wireless charging pad/system is freaking stupid.Once some forward thinking manufacturer integrates the received into their devices (like Palm did) this might be good, but until that time its just a stupid idea that results in even more cables, and disconectable (losable) ones at that.


    And yet powermats fly off the shelf at your local Best Buy or Fry's... which is the exact thing GM is trying to push here! Good on em I say. Lets be honest how many hours does the average person have their phone on the CAR CHARGER, and not the one at home?

    From the people I know? Yea the phone gets it's charge in the car, and they lost their home charger, aaaand they are too cheap to buy another home charger. So unless they are in the car the phone doesn't' get charged.

    So why not make an option for an induction type charger into the car? Especially if this thing is powerful enough to charge through a purse or something!
    If they can integrate this into a batterypack or phone AWESOME, till then I'll live with a ribbon thin power cord in my cigarette lighter though. And I'll carry my happy little droid phone to its' media dock to sync with my PC.
  • 4 Hide
    silverblue , January 8, 2011 2:20 PM
    The article does mention that you can use Android phones etc. with the Powermat. It would've been helpful had the article been titled as such; simply replace the word "iPhone" with "Smartphone" for a more accurate representation of what the technology does.
  • 2 Hide
    kelemvor4 , January 8, 2011 4:48 PM
    Nice idea; hope it spreads to other manufacturers who make good cars.
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , January 8, 2011 5:18 PM
    You cannot remove the battery from an iPhone. Therefore, in order to "wirelessly" charge the iPhone, you have to attach an induction receiving pad to your iPhone through the phones 30-pin connector. This is NOT wireless at all, its just "very short wire". At least with other phones, you can remove the back plate and attach the charging device directly to the phone. Since there is no backplate to remove from the iPhone, you basically are just connecting a very small charger to your phone, one that only works with your car or another proprietary PowerMat (tm) charger. So yeah, if making your sleek phone big and bulky is easier for you than buying an extra USB cable or two (and the fact that Apple uses a proprietary cable is your fault, not mine), by all means, go for it. Also, I couldn't find any pictures for this, but I think the iPhone4 PowerMat case does NOT include a pass-through for the 30-pin connector. This would mean you'd have to remove the case whenever you wanted to dock the phone or charge it with any of the thousands of Apple-compatible devices that have been released since the first iPod.

    Also, this will only work on phones supported by PowerMat. Have a Samsung, a Nokia, one of the hundreds of other phone models NOT supported by power-mat? Well then, you have a worthless charging station built into your car. And if you're going to purchase a car based on whether or not it comes with a built-in PowerMat, you have your priorities wrong. And don't bother quoting me on how they have "universal chargers" that plug in to any micro/mini USB port. Those are even worse than slapping a bulky powermat case on your phone, and are no different than using a regular usb cable.

    No, until this is standardized somehow, and supports way more devices, its just a half-assed attempt to pretend they (GM) are modernizing their stone-age products.
  • 1 Hide
    silverblue , January 8, 2011 5:20 PM
    Damned good points you make there.
  • 1 Hide
    valpanig , January 8, 2011 5:59 PM
    Car should be a car, not a charging station nor a kitchen or office on the wheels. Having charging device plugged to the phone and storing it in inductive compartment is no different from using wired car charger.

    To the person who claimed that people often loose home chargers, i can add
    that home chargers are cheap and you can order them easily. Imagine the cost of proprietary GM inductive chargers if you loose one or break it in the car.
  • -2 Hide
    ProDigit10 , January 8, 2011 6:27 PM
    Great!
    Yet another place where you'll be bombarded with unnecessary radiation.
    Now even cars are cancer coffins!
  • -2 Hide
    ProDigit10 , January 8, 2011 6:27 PM
    hey, my prev post was just posted, how come I see it as minus one?
  • -2 Hide
    ProDigit10 , January 8, 2011 6:28 PM
    oh, it seems you can rate up your posts by selecting positive!
  • 1 Hide
    bv90andy , January 8, 2011 7:27 PM
    As Douglas Adams pointed out, humans are amazing at reinventing stuff that doesn't need reinventing.
  • -1 Hide
    techcurious , January 8, 2011 7:28 PM
    edileeAside from that...why do they call it wireless charging when it is not wireless at all? There is a connector that connects to the phone or device and it lays on the charging pad which aloows the power to flow...this is not wireless.


    So by your logic, if you plug in a USB wireless LAN adapter into a desktop or older laptop, you are not really using wireless networking? And all other technologies over the years like radios and older televisions that would connect to an antenna to work, were not receiving media broadcasts wirelessly because they had an antenna plugged in?

    Its considered wireless charging because, once your smartphone is modified, you do not have to unplug or replug any WIRES to stop or start charging. You can get out of your car at any time and all you have to do is pick your phone up and take it with you. And then just place it on the mat when you get back in the car.

    Note that, GM is planning to roll out these power mats in about 18 months. If other companies start announcing this feature in their upcoming products, then smartphones will start coming out with this feature built in. Just like the early days of wireless networking, we had to add wireless adapters to our laptops, and eventually when WLAN became so common place, every laptop came with WLAN built in :)  Even if smartphones take their time to do this, also consider that cars last for years. So if you can't benefit from the mat in 2 years, you probably will in 5 or 6 years..

    Eventually, some day, charging mats like these could find their way into tables at Starbucks (just to name one example), armrests of airplanes, etc. Time will tell.. but the trend has to start somewhere :) 
  • 0 Hide
    elkein , January 9, 2011 3:01 PM
    GM is not out of hock to the government but they are getting close. I believe the treasury still owns a number of shares yet to be sold and to dilute the new gm stock some more.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 23, 2011 9:01 PM
    This is similar to GETPOWERPAD's wireless charging technology, right?
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