No Foul! Wireless Charging Hotspots Coming to Madison Square Garden

iPhone with Duracell Powermat wireless charging sleeve next to wireless charging hotspot.

Duracell Powermat to install wireless charging hotspots in restaurants, bars and luxury boxes in the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”

If you remember the Patrick Ewing-era New York Knicks, you know they were tough enough to take a hard charge now and then for the team. In a few weeks you’ll be able to get a charge yourself–wirelessly and without the pain—courtesy of Duracell Powermat.

Duracell Powermat booth at the 2012 CES.

The company announced at last week’s 2012 CES in Las Vegas that it has been tapped by Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, to install wireless charging hotspots around the Manhattan arena.

If you have a iPhone or other smartphone or mobile device and you outfit it with a wireless charging sleeve, which will be sold at the Garden as well as at major electronics stores, you’ll be able to give your device a charge while it sits in front of you as you dine or drink or gently air your opinion about the officiating of the game below.

Mockup of Garden suite with wireless charging hotspot at 2102 CES in Las Vegas.

The Duracell Powermat wireless charging sleeves as well as those already available from companies such as Energizer adhere to a wireless charging standard named “Qi,” developed by the Wireless Power Consortium, which showed off a wealth of Qi-compatible devices at the 2012 CES. This means that any Qi-compatible sleeve will work with the hotspots at the Garden–not just those made by Duracell Powermat.

Wireless Power Consortium shows off Qi-compatible devices at 2012 CES.

An upcoming Duracell Powermat smartphone app will not only tell you how much power is left in your device, but it will also direct you to the nearest wireless charging hotspot.

If you use the app while you’re sitting in the Garden, you can use your phone’s camera to scan the arena and, through the magic of “augmented reality,” the app will generate pointers in the image to show you where the hotspots are.

Duracell Powermat smartphone app previewed at the 2012 CES in Las Vegas.

The new inductive charging stations will appear first in the Event Level Suites, which were added as part of the first phase of a three-phase renovation of the Garden last year. Eventually they will pop up in the Garden’s Madison Suites, the Delta Sky360 Club and in the 1879 Club presented by J.P. Morgan.

Entertainer Jay-Z is the new spokesman for the new Duracell Powermat wireless charging initiative at the Garden, which is a little bit ironic since he is a part owner of the nearby rival New Jersey Nets—soon to be the even closer Brooklyn Nets. Duracell Powermat LLC is a joint venture of Procter & Gamble, parent company of Duracell, and Powermat.

Text and photos Copyright 2012, Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features

CEA Wires Washington’s Historic Eastern Market

Take a small slice from the gigantic International Consumer Electronics Show, bring it to Washington, D.C., invite the press and members of Congress and what do you get? CES on the Hill, a surprisingly interesting and busy event held at Washington’s historic Eastern Market Tuesday.
Not only did the Consumer Electronics Association bring dozens of high- and low-ranking Capitol Hill officials to the Eastern Market, it also left something behind: $8,500 worth of Ethernet jacks and cabling.
During a brief interview, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA, noted that when rescheduling the event from the Russell Senate Office Building to the Eastern Market for space and other reasons, the CEA discovered that the Eastern Market’s North Hall had wireless Internet connectivity, but no Ethernet jacks for exhibitors who needed them for security or bandwidth reasons.
The CEA, he said, decided to correct the problem itself: It donated $8,500 to the District of Columbia to install the needed hardware, which will now be available to future renters of the site.
On Tuesday the crowded hall was filled with gadgets and technology demonstrations from familiar CES exhibitors such as Samsung, Microsoft, XStreamHD, Kodak, Audiovox, Qualcomm, and Panasonic.
For example, Samsung showed off its new Restore, a handset built with 84 percent recyclable materials. To no one’s surprise, the phone does not include a paper manual (it’s available online) and what little packaging it has is 100 percent recyclable and made from 70 percent recycled material.
The unit has a standard phone keypad as well as a slide-out QWERTY keypad. Also included is a two-megapixel digital camera and camcorder, a microSD slot for removable memory cards with capacities up to 32 gigabytes, stereo Bluetooth support and an MP3 music player. Also bundled with the 4.3-ounce phone is Sprint Navigation for turn-by-turn driving directions. The handset will be available from Sprint in the summer.
Text and photos Copyright 2010 Stadium Circle Features