Powermat may have a bright future, but the company's products to date have been expensive, slightly clunky and a generally imperfect solution for bringing wireless power to mobile devices. That could all change with WiCC. The Wireless Charging Card (WiCC) is an IEEE Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard, with the potential to integrate Duracell Powermat technology within every mobile gadget. The incredibly thin device resembles those wafer-like SmartMedia cards once used in early digital cameras, with a similar form factor, but significantly more practicality. Each WiCC includes all the PowerMat circuitry found in the company's charging cases, while also doubling as an NFC antenna. The card's success is of course contingent on cooperation from device manufacturers, who will need to add a slim connector above the battery leads, including two for power, two for NFC and two for data -- an app will monitor charging. Powermat reps say that such a connector would cost pennies to implement, however, making it a potentially easy sell.

Powermat President Daniel Schreiber sees this as a major breakthrough for the smartphone industry, saying "we're going to do for wireless power what the memory card did for storage in mobile phones." We had a chance to take a look at a mock-up of the wireless card at MWC, which was resting just above the battery in a Samsung Galaxy S II. Because the phone's battery is slightly recessed, both the card and battery fit below the device's original backplate -- the WiCC lies flush with the phone's camera lens. Overall, we think there's some serious potential here, assuming device manufacturers are game to come on board. Still, don't expect to see these hitting stores anytime this year -- the company expects its other products to come to market long before the Wireless Charging Card. So for now, jump past the break to take a closer look, but don't make any plans to toss that power adapter just yet.

Duracell Powermat WiCC hands-on

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Update: We weren't able to take a look at a functional sample during our hands-on yesterday, so we dropped by the Duracell Powermat booth for a quick demo. The working model is slightly larger than the mock-up we saw yesterday, which more closely represents the WiCC's final size.

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Duracell Powermat Introduces the Wireless Charging Card (WiCC™) for Smartphones; the Instant Upgrade to Wireless Charging Capability

Solution does for wireless power what memory cards did for storage: making wireless power simple and instantly accessible.

Barcelona, Spain -- Mobile World Congress – Duracell Powermat, a leading brand in wireless power, today unveiled "WiCC"; a breakthrough aftermarket solution for wireless power. WiCC is a wafer-thin card that consumers can insert into compatible phones or cases to instantly upgrade them for wireless power.

WiCC will work seamlessly with all handsets in compliance with IEEE's Power Matters Alliance (PMA) 'Wireless Charging Card' specifications. This standard means that for the first time handsets will be able to utilize real estate allocated for the NFC antenna to offer wireless charging - without impairing costs or design.

"We are delighted to be able to offer OEMs the benefit of wireless charging readiness at no additional cost. Making a handset WiCC ready is as simple as adding compliant contacts atop of which the WiCC can be inserted," said Daniel Schreiber, President of Powermat Technologies, which has developed WiCC. "It's the ultimate solution for OEMs, carriers and consumers alike."

"WICC will open the door for consumers to enjoy an infinite variety of cases and phones that are wireless power ready," said Ron Rabinowitz, CEO of Duracell Powermat. The company plans to introduce the product to market in the future.

WiCC cards double as NFC antennae, enabling them to seamlessly replace the existing NFC antenna with a card that delivers both NFC and wireless power. For interested OEMs and carriers, the specification for WiCC is available to registered members at powermatters.org, and Powermat Technologies (www.powermat.com) also offers a series of supporting evaluation boards and demo units.

WiCC-enabled phones will interoperate seamlessly with the full range of Duracell Powermat wireless charging products as well as with wireless power offered by its growing ecosystem of partners such as leading airports, cars, educational institutions and furniture makers.

About Duracell Powermat

Duracell Powermat is the joint venture formed by Duracell and Powermat that began operation in January 2012. The partnership was designed to deliver cutting-edge wireless charging solutions to consumers so that they can maintain the rich mobile lifestyle to which they aspire without the fear of being interrupted by a dead battery. Part of The Procter & Gamble Company [NYSE:PG], Duracell has been powering people around the world for more than 40 years, whereas Powermat brought the wireless charging category to life with the introduction of ground-breaking products in 2009. Together the two companies are leading the wireless charging revolution under the Duracell Powermat brand. Duracell Powermat provides real-life power solutions for consumers both at-home and on-the-go. The joint venture is headed by Procter & Gamble's Ron Rabinowitz, CEO. For more information, please visit www.duracellpowermat.us

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Duracell Powermat WiCC could bring wireless charging to any smartphone, we go hands-on (video)