Batteries continue to not only be the bane of every electronic device but our homes and offices too, necessitating tangled nests of wires and random chargers cluttering desks and bedside tables. The PWRBOARD promises to bring some much-needed order to your charging routine with a modular build-it-yourself portable base station that keeps all your chargers in one place while taking up just a single wall outlet.
You may not realise just how many chargers you’re dependent on until you decide to travel (a rare occurrence these days) and find yourself having to pack a separate bag just for cables and proprietary docks for batteries and random devices that simply refuse to play nice with USB cables. The issue is particularly prevalent for photographers and videographers who rely on multi-battery chargers to ensure they always have fully charged backups for cameras, camcorders, action cams, and even drones. The PWRBOARD promises to simplify all that.
Like a giant Lego plate featuring holes instead of studs, the PWRBOARD base station allows for over 30 charging modules of various sizes (30 available at launch, with more promised down the road) to be attached using simple tools in various configurations to suit a user’s needs. The modules are designed to be compatible with batteries from over 150 of the most popular camera, drone, and accessory makers, including Sony, Canon, Nikon, DJI, and GoPro. And if a company not officially supported wants to make their own charging module for the PWRBOARD, dev-kits will be made available so third parties can expand its compatibility.
Like a motherboard in a PC that supplies power to various components, the PWRBOARD uses a custom power supply to deliver power through an underlying grid that every charging module connects to when attached. The company promises that every module will get as much power as it needs, but doesn’t specify how many modules can be attached and used at the same time, or if they’ll all charge at the same maximum speed when the base plate is maxed out.
Pricing is expected to start at around $US250 ($348) for the smallest version of the PWRBOARD, while larger versions that can charge more devices simultaneously could cost upwards of $US350 ($487). The charging modules will be priced at around $US15 ($21) each given most of the critical electronic components are included in the board they attach to. You can’t pre-order the PWRBOARD just yet, however, as its creators will be using a crowdfunding campaign to help put it into production that will launch sometime in early 2022. As for delivery, it’s a risky time to launch new devices as even the established consumer electronics giants are struggling to get products into consumers’ hands. So even if the PWRBOARD raises the funds it needs for a production run, it probably won’t arrive until much later this year.