Kickstarter launches modular Qi wireless charging station
Thursday, May 10, 2018
UMO, the world's first modular 10W Qi wireless charging station, has been launched via Kickstarter by Thingyfy, a Toronto design innovation firm with a focus on tech's physical aspects.

UMO is the third crowdfunding/pre-sale campaign that Thingyfy has undertaken successfully. It was fully funded in just under 48 hours.

"Our intent was to improve on existing wireless chargers in terms of functionality, precision and quality and, from a design perspective, with holistic, minimalistic beauty," says Boz Zou, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thingyfy. "It's also very competitively priced. We've gotten a great response – and it's still early!"

UMO, with a sleek aluminum body, was designed to focus only on necessary functions and to charge fast and continuously without overheating. Compatible with all mobile phone models, its latest 10W Qi technology means it will replenish an iPhone 8 battery in 58 minutes, a Samsung S9 in 86 minutes, and an iPhone X in 100.

The station's 10mm long charging distance compares to the standard of 5mm to 8mm. That makes it ideal for use with phones that are encased, as long the case is not made of aluminum or stainless steel or another conductive metal. It works with all Qi compatible devices.

White USB-C to USB-C cable for Macs have been developed and will be available once the campaign is over, as will be Thingyfy's Qi wireless charging adapter pad for older, non Qi compatible phones.

UMO's price point is another draw, Boz Zou says, thanks to an advanced robotic manufacturing process. Starting at about $27 (USD), UMO compares quite favorably to other brands on the market.

Zou notes that the Kickstarter model has been an ideal way to launch, test and refine new products. Thingyfy's earlier launches were pinhole photography professional camera lenses.

"The direction we are moving in is innovating around the development of a rich UMO ecosystem," Zou says. "We designed a modular wireless light, for example, that's very lightweight, no sharp edges and unpainted. It's something a baby could happily chew on with no ill effects. We're also working on UMO speakers to tie in with our wireless charging station. It's all fertile new territory that we're excited to explore."

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