By GREGORY ZELLER //
A New York City tech firm that got a big assist from a Hauppauge innovator has launched its flagship wireless charging system.
FLI Charge, a subsidiary of IP commercialization specialist and alleged patent troll Form Holdings Corp. (formerly Vringo), has officially raised the curtain on its self-titled charging pad. The company on Wednesday launched an Indiegogo campaign offering its products in various-sized bundles and is poised to annihilate its one-month goal – by Thursday morning, it had already reached 86 percent of its $100,000 target.
The FLIway 40 charging pad – which charges laptops, smartphones and other mobile electronic devices, including drones – packs 40 watts, can juice up to eight cell phones simultaneously and “does not emit additional radiation,” according to a company statement.
Indiegogo pledges ranging from $89 to $999 cover increasingly heavy product bundles including the power pads and “charging cases” suitable for the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones – phones snap into the case, which can be placed anywhere on the pad.
Also included are two kinds of adapters: the FLIcube, which can be placed anywhere on the pad and plugs into devices via USB cable, and the FLIcoin, a universal and easily customizable adapter that’s “an ideal white-label or co-branded solution,” the company said.
FLI Charge President Cliff Weinstein said the unique recharging system – which is designed to halt power transfers when foreign objects, including liquids, touch the brushed-steel conductivity “swimlanes” – completely redefines the mobile device-charging landscape.
“Until now, wireless charging has been overlooked as cumbersome, impractical and less effective than plugging into an outlet,” Weinstein said. “Nothing on the market was good enough.
“FLI Charge was born to do wireless properly,” the president added. “We’re excited to share our creation with the Indiegogo community and give people the freedom to finally untether themselves.”
FLI Charge’s Indiegogo campaign is of the “flex” variety, meaning it collects the pledges whether or not it hits that $100,000 plateau but must share a larger percentage with Indiegogo than with a standard make-or-break crowdfunding campaign. Reaching the milestone appears virtually guaranteed: Just 24 hours in, the campaign boasted more than 680 backers, pledging north of $86,000.
Funding from the 2,500 available Indiegogo bundles will facilitate new production, with larger rollouts to follow. “Early bird” product bundles are scheduled to be delivered by October, quite a turnaround from where FLI Charge found itself in October 2015.
That’s when Vringo, locked in a patent-infringement death battle with Google, acquired FLI Charge. It’s also when the NYC tech firm learned a marketing booth was available at major-league Las Vegas tech showcase CES 2016 – a huge opportunity for an upstart developer sitting on a paradigm-shifting technology.
At the time, FLI Charge’s namesake tech was functional but in dire need of an aesthetics overhaul. With just two months to go before the Consumer Electronics Show, Weinstein & Co. turned to Intelligent Product Solutions of Hauppauge, which did a “beautiful” job on the FLIway 40, according to the president.
“We never would have gotten [to CES 2016] without IPS working around the clock,” Weinstein told Innovate LI in March.
But they did get to January’s Las Vegas showcase – and now, just five months later, FLI Charge is charging into the commercial landscape, “providing a safe, easy and efficient power source where you need it,” according to Executive Vice President Sam Leffell.
“Mobile devices are a big part of our daily lives,” Leffell said. “We are always on the lookout for an outlet to top off our charge. Our goal is to enable people to better focus on the tasks at hand and less on the strain of powering the device used to complete them.”