Sunday, January 22, 2012
At CES 2012, Jay-Z is Face and Voice of Israeli Tech
As if it wasn’t enough that his wife Beyonce is storming the headlines after giving birth to their first child, music mogul and all around legend Jay-Z is investing big in a hot new tech sector, just signing a multi-year agreement to be the face and voice of Duracell Powermat JV.
So what’s gotten Jay-Z so excited? Even though he has more money than he knows what to do with, Jay-Z’s usually pretty successful with his investments, and he really believes the Duracell Powermat is going to be the next big thing.
“I believe in the future of wireless energy and I believe that Duracell Powermat is the company to bring on the revolution,” Jay-Z said. “I’m partnering with Duracell Powermat because they’re providing the solutions for the future.”
The joint business venture was just announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Said Ron Poliakine, chief executive officer of Powermat Technologies, “Jay Z is power personified. He inspires millions of people all over the world on a daily basis with his music and his story. There is no better face or voice that can move people to adopt a new paradigm in power delivery.”
Many of you have probably seen some early examples of wireless charging, in which you charge your cell phone by placing it on what’s called a “charger mat.” This new technology means no plugging anything in, you don’t even need to connect the phone to the charger, just having it rest on it is enough to charge the device! And unlike wall chargers, the Powermat has a “brain” and communicates with the device, so power stops flowing and you won’t overcharge your device.
All this technology was developed in Israel by a company called Powermat, Ltd. Founded in 2006, Powermat at first employed only 30 people, but thanks to its partnership with Duracell, their technology is really taking off. Duracell, which is owned by global giant Proctor & Gamble, owns a 55 percent stake in Powermat. Yesterday, they announced a massive project for what is now called Duracell Powermat to equip New York’s famous arena, Madison Square Garden, with wireless charging technology.
“Enhancing the fan experience by integrating state-of-the-art technology is a key component of Madison Square Garden’s currently underway comprehensive, top-to-bottom Transformation,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “This partnership with Duracell Powermat will ensure that fans at Knicks and Rangers games will always be charged up while watching their favorite teams.”
Going further, each mat can charge multiple phones simultaneously, and like we said before, is smart enough to allocate resources – if a phone on the right side of the mat is finished charging, it won’t be pumping unnecessary energy that way, but focus on the other phones on the mat that still need charging.
Speaking of MSG, Knicks legend Larry Johnson was on hand at Duracell Powermat’s CES booth, adding to their roster of celebrity endorsements.
Last year, Powermat struck a $5 million deal with General Motors to bring wireless charging to the Chevy Volt.
Their vision is pretty ambitious, but with players like Jay-Z and Proctor & Gamble behind the scenes, this is technology that you’re going to see in your house someday soon. “Our mission is to populate the universe with access points in any surface surrounding us in a way that you, as a user, will forget that you even have a battery in your devices” says Poliakine.
Looking beyond cell phones, the company seeks one day to radically transform your house whereby everything from your kitchen appliances to your video game controllers will be charged wirelessly. It certainly sounds like magic, and one of the products being unveiled at CES is tentatively called “magic box.” It’s simply a box that can charge any device running on Duracell batteries. Your remote control for your TV just died? Throw it in the magic box overnight and by morning you’re good to go.