With a Powerplay mouse pad, never again will your wireless mouse run out of power.
Guys… guys. Put down your morning coffee. Loosen any tight clothing. Say a quick prayer to your favoured deity. Logitech has done it. Logitech has found a legitimate use for wireless charging: the Powerplay mouse pad, which constantly charges your wireless mouse. Your wireless mouse will never again run out of battery.
The Powerplay bundle ($100 in the US, probably £90 in the UK) consists of a wireless charging base, two mousing surfaces (soft and hard) that you can switch between, and a powercore module. (Did Logitech hire the Nvidia marketing guru who came up with “Forceware” or something?)
The powercore is a little puck that plugs into Powerplay-compatible wireless mice. At launch there will be two of them: the G903 (a tweaked G900) and the G703 (which is similar to the G403). Both mice are available later this month, but UK pricing is still TBC (probably £140 and £90 respectively). Theoretically, future wireless Logitech mice will support the powercore, so you can keep using the same Powerplay charging mat.
Sadly, Powerplay doesn’t use a standardised wireless charging tech like Qi; rather, Logitech has apparently spent the last few years developing something proprietary. Technical details are scant, though we know it’s based on magnetic resonance wireless power transfer—a fairly well-known technique. Basically, there’s a coil of wire (an antenna) in the powercore. In the charging mat, there’s another antenna tuned to the same frequency as the powercore. When power is flowing through one of the coils, it makes the other coil resonate, which can then be turned into electricity.
The difficulty of magnetic resonance wireless power transfer is that the transmitter and receiver need to be fairly well aligned. That’s why most wireless charging solutions require you to place one object (your phone) on top of another object (a charging plate), which obviates most of the advantages of wireless charging. Logitech says it has overcome this issue: your mouse will recharge anywhere on the pad. My guess is that there are lots of small antennas embedded in the charging base, with enough overlap to ensure there aren’t any charging black spots.The Powerplay bundle will be available from August 20 in both the UK and US. The G903 and G703 mice will be available later in June.