Last year, the German start-up, Poqit, received crowd funding for its wallet which incorporates wireless charging technology. While a product is not yet market ready, the company is moving ahead quickly with its simple but innovative idea.
The idea: the smart phone is ubiquitous today and so is the need to charge it. Often, we find ourselves and our phones in a place with limited options for charging. The company founders, Marko Berndt, Timo Golomski and Martin Volmerding wanted to come up with something that would allow a smart phone to be charged in just such a situation. One item that we often have with us at all times is out wallet or purse so Poqit decided to bring the two together.
The idea of the charging wallet or purse came from two of the three founders during a South East Asia trip. At most time, Volmerding and Golomski had only keys, wallet and mobile phone on them, in addition to a T-shirt, swimwear and flip flops. The next power outlet was often far away and the standard portable charger was too big or too heavy to carry in a pocket. Thus, they arrived at the idea of incorporating a powerbank into an everyday object.
To this end, the three have designed a wallet that makes smart phones ready for use again by simply charging them. The technology behind it: incorporated into the so-called QI standard, electromagnetic induction is used to transmit energy over short distances and without contact. In addition to a rechargeable battery, the Poqit wallet contains a small circuit board and a copper coil. In addition, a smart phone and the wallet can be connected via Bluetooth. An additional benefit is that if this connection is broken, for example because the user leaves their wallet in a cafe, the smart phone gives a warning. Further, a protective foil is incorporated into the wallet to protect it from attacks such as skimming, i.e. the clandestine reading of data on bank or credit cards. A number of wallets already available on the market have such protection.
The Poqit team are still working on a prototype of the wallet together with a development service provider and hope to have a market-ready product by August. A patent for the technology in the purse has been registered and the technology will also be used for handbags or backpacks.
One drawback is that not all smart phone manufacturers incorporate contactless technology. Apple, for example, has not integrated it into its phones, so far. While an additional received will allow iPhones to use the Poqit wallet, the company hopes that Apples will integrate the QI standard into the next iPhone. In Germany, at least, every fifth iPhone sold is an iPhone.