Don’t call Fli Charge wireless charging. Fli Charge is conductive charging. It’s just like plugging something into a wall but uses powered surfaces to distribute power. And thanks to proprietary tech, it’s safe to the touch and just as fast as a wall outlet.
The company stopped by TechCrunch’s CES 2018 booth to show off their latest generation. It works and it’s amazing and was able to charge a variety of objects including power tools, smartphones, battery packs, USB-C computers and even a custom laptop with the Fli Charge system built directly in.
There are several advantages to Fli Charge. The system is capable of simultaneously charging batteries of different voltages. One strip can charge a smartphone, power tool, and laptop at the same time even though each device has different power requirements.
Once a Fli Charge device is placed on the strip, charging starts immediately at the same rate as if it was plugged into an outlet. Four small conductive nubs make contact with the pad and serve up power as needed.
The charging pad is safe to the touch and when the pad detects an unknown conductive material like a key or hand, it shuts off immediately. I placed my hand on the surface while it was plugged in and lived. There was no electrical sensation. Throw a set of keys on the pad and the charging shuts off, too.
FORM Holdings (then Vringo) acquired Fli Charge, a fledging technology company that once had its technology used in some Chrysler vehicles. Then in October 2016 Fli Charge CEO Cliff Weinstein led a management buyout to take Fli Charge private. Along the way the products were reworked and new partnerships found including with office and school supply provider Bretford and tool maker Craftsman. In both cases, Fli Charge will be built in at an OEM level to select products.
The Fli Charge line has expanded since the product hit Indiegogo in August 2016 though the fundamental offering has stayed on target. The company’s pad can charge a variety of gadgets and devices while remaining safe to the touch. Fli Charged received $230k from its Indiegogo campaign.
Going forward its clear that Fli Charge sees its future with additional partnerships that builds the Fli Charge technology directly into products like Craftsman power tools. The company sees a future where Fli Charge pads are built into desks and tool cases and laptops, phones and tools charge simultaneously on the same pad. And I, a guy with a lot of laptops, phones and tools, would love to live in the future, too.