I originally planned on writing my review of the Powermat magnetic inductive charging system by highlighting the innovation in the technology and the lack of necessity for a product that costs a serious amount of coin--$99.99 for the wired mat plus $40 for the charger--for achieving the same goal as a simple wire.
But then the Powermat took my iPod Touch captive.
First, the straight shooting: the Powermat system is indeed very cool. It does what it advertises and brings "wire-less" charging to devices that normally don't have the ability: the iPhone, iPod Touch, select RIM BlackBerry models, and so forth.
But the problem with the product should have been evident from the drawing board: it doesn't fill a need, and comes off like a proof-of-concept product. Sure, "wire-less" charging is neat to observe, but you're buying a boatload of equipment (a mat that comes with wired adapter, plus device-specific "receiver") for the price of a new smartphone on contract to replace something that took a moment to achieve in the first place.
Read more of "How the cordless Powermat charging system took my iPod Touch hostage" on ZDNet's The Toy Box.