Powermat charger in car console  (Source: The Detroit News)
Wireless gadget charging coming to Volt first

GM has announced at CES in Las Vegas that it has signed a $5 million deal with Powermat to put the charging mats for gadgets into GM vehicles around the world. Powermat has been in the market for a long time and is one of the firms that make charging mats and cases that allow users to charge smartphones and other gear without having to plug in cables.

The investment with Powermat gives GM a full year of exclusive use for the tech inside vehicles and will make charging on the go a wireless prospect rather than users needing to plug devices into their DC outlet with cords and cables. GM notes that the first vehicle to see the Powermat tech will be the Volt, which has become a technology platform for GM.

The Powermat charging plates will be integrated into the center console of the vehicle for front seat passengers and will also be integrated in the back of the vehicle for rear seat passengers. GM has not noted when the chargers will surface, but they are not expected any sooner than in 2012 model year vehicles.

GM's Micky Bly said, "The Chevy Volt will be one of the first applications, but we intend to expand it across our vehicle portfolio."

The $5 million investment from GM is also intended to help the company expand its technology and expand globally. Reuters quotes Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine saying, "GM is a very, very good partner for us, not only for the automotive industry, but more in the context of what we are trying to achieve."

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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