Energysquare - Conventional to Wireless

As the number of devices in custody keeps increasing, came along a problem to maintain the wall chargers along with the cables. The choetech multi-port charger can only handle so much. There was a need for a better solution to charge the devices. Smartphones require more space than the other devices in the home. Smartwatches - Ticwatch E, Ticwatch 2 and the Pebbles need less space. Not to forget they come with their proprietary charging cables.

Then Energysquare seems to have heard the prayers and launched their Kickstarter project in 2016. Yes, that's right 2016 it was. The project aimed to bring wireless charging to all devices via conductive charging. Wireless Charging is quite well-known to elaborate since it is not truly wireless. There is one more charger that you need to carry, for the wireless charging.

energysquare_work

Concept

Energysquare planned to tackle the problem at hand by using conductive charging. The solution was to just reduce the charger cable to a small strip with electric points. These points when come to contact with the charging base plate passes the current to the device. At the time of the project, they gathered the requirements for multiple strips depending on the smartphones/tablets in use by the users. They delivery did goof up the strips and sent across single USB-C while two were asked and two micro-usb for one. It thankfully did include two lighting supported strips.

charging_connectors

The demo mentioned about the charging plate only passing the current to the charging strip and not impacting any other object placed on it. In practice, it works as designed. Keeping the coffee mugs, will not charge or brew your coffee. As long as they non-metallic material, this should be safe.

The design of the smaller Energysquare shall cover the bedside table, while the larger one (as ordered) will surely need two of those tables. The larger one was picked up considering the number of devices it can charge, which is about five at a time. The smaller one can only accommodate two to three devices only, that only restricted to phones and not the tablets.

energysquare_nightstand

My Experience

The concept and demo were enough to push to fund the project. The joy of seeing the project achieving the funding target was followed by a long wait of 2 years, till Energysquare got delivered. Follow up with TNT courier is another chapter lengthy and one of its kind. Let's keep that away from being documented. Once it arrived, the unboxing was short and sweet. Check out the video on YouTube. While you are there, do not forget to Subscribe for future videos.

Once the charging strip is stuck to the device (phone/Chromebook), placing it on the Energysquare pad does the magic. The phone automatically pops-up a notification of being charged. Interestingly the energysquare pad charged the Nexus 6P rapidly, while the Chromebook shows Low Charger input when placed on the pad. Leaving the Chromebook on the pad while not using, it does charge it fully. Chromebook had arrived way after the order for Energysquare was placed, the compatibility was unknown and not tested by the manufacturers. Having the Chromebook charged via the Energysquare is dope. The video would work as the proof of concept.

--While not tested personally, the latest MacBooks with USB type C ports might be for wireless charging through Energysquare.--

Energysquare does raise the eyebrows when it comes to charging the conventional devices, almost wirelessly. The whole concept does not fit the travelers' checklist. The charging pad could be bulky and delicate to travel along. There are few points which need attention. If Energysquare plans for the next iteration, these should consider:

Plate Design

  • Size: The project on Kickstarter listed two choices for Energysquare charging pad, the small one and large one. Named as Energysquare 1 and Energysquare 2 respectively. The Energysqure 2 could accommodate 4-5 smartphones, while one could only manage two devices. The size of the plate is huge and does not fit the spaces available currently. Hence, it needs to be packed in the box when not charging.
  • Missing LED: Energysquare is missing the LED when turned On. The indicator would've been nice. Currently, there is no way of knowing if the charging plate is turned on or not.

Charging Strips

  • Thickness: The charging strip for the phones/Chromebook is quite thick. The demo showcased during the project, did show them quite slim. The fixing of the electronics and circuitry in the slim cases proved to be challenging, and hence the strips had to be redesigned with little fats.

  • Poor quality: The package only included single USB type C strip, instead of the two ordered. It meant, reusing the strip for testing Nexus 6P and Chromebook. The adhesive quality seems nice as it did not leave any residue. At the same time, the quality of the strip did not impress much. While pulling out the strip, the circuit felt to be almost getting ripped out.

Conclusion

Energysquare is a great product, yet it has taken too long to arrive in the market. Most of the popular phones today offer the wireless charging, which works quite differently from the Energysquare. The experience with energysquare is unique in ways to charge multiple devices at the same time. All this without the clutters of the wires running everywhere. If you plan to stick around with your current set of devices for a while, Energysquare is a good option; to be considered only when not traveling. Check out their official website - Energysquare.co.

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