Chrysler Brings Wireless Phone Charging to Cars
Chrysler has brought wireless phone charging to the car. Beginning with the 2013 Dodge Dart, drivers won't have to bother with dangling cords or finding the right charger for their devices.
Better yet, passengers can share the charge. The Dart, due to arrive in dealerships later this summer, features an 8.27-inch by 9.5-inch "power bin" in front of the center console. It's lined with a charging grid that's activated when you put your cellphone on it while the car is running. However, you'll have to use Chrysler's phone case to power up. The conductive case fits iPhones, iPods, Droids and BlackBerry phones, and one case is included as part of this optional accessory. The convenience will set you back $200. (Chrysler hasn't said how much additional cases will cost.)
The power bin was created by Chrysler's Mopar division (short for motor parts). Mopar started in 1937 as an antifreeze product, but has evolved into a technical innovation operation. Other firsts for the division include an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and an Electronic Vehicle Tracking System that sends text messages to drivers when they drive too fast (texts are displayed on the car's in-dash touch screen, not the phone).
Power mat charging technology has been around for a while. Do-it-yourselfers have adapted home charging mats for cars, but the generous size of the Dart's bin won't result in a power struggle of who charges first.