10 questions for Robin Nagelmaeker, co-founder of GETPOWERPAD
Well, to start off with, some people think I’m surprisingly young. I might be, but this brings some advantages to the team. I’m just 21 years old. I co-founded ndigo™ in the beginning of 2009 after I spent quite some time in China. Before Ndigo was founded, I was studying Advertising at the WDKA (Rotterdam Art Academy). However, I soon decided to fully focus on a startup, which became ndigo™. It’s not a common move, switching from being an Art Academy student to being an entrepeneur, but I love it and I still do get lots of opportunities to get creative. I co founded GETPOWERPAD™ just a year after ndigo™ when we (co founders Remy Nagelmaeker, Tom Canters and I) realized the possible potential of the wireless power industry.
Could you give us a piece of history of GETPOWERPAD™, about how and when it has been started?
The three of us, the founders, have a few things in common, we’re all totally obsessed with marketing/branding, technology and startups. We kept a close eye on the developments in the wireless charging industry, and we soon realized that the potential of this new industry is huge.
Not long after we got ndigo up and running, we decided it was time to enter the wireless power industry. So we just decided to jump in, hence GETPOWERPAD™ was born. In September 2010 we introduced our first generation GETPOWERPAD™ wireless chargers during IFA in Berlin.
GETPOWERPAD™ joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), what made you decide to join this consortium? And when can we expect the first Qi compatible wireless chargers from GETPOWERPAD™?
GETPOWERPAD™ was actually one of the first companies to join the Wireless Power Consortium. We instantly recognized it’s potential. We believe that a universal standard is absolutely necessary for the wireless charging industry to succeed. To our opinion, the Wireless Power Consortium was and still is the most promising and the most likely to succeed. The first generation of GETPOWERPAD™ chargers are based on our own technology, the next generation will be Qi compatible. We will release the first generation of Qi compatible GETPOWERPAD™ chargers before this Christmas season.
The first generation GETPOWERPAD™ chargers are not Qi compatible, is there special reason?
That’s due to the simple fact that the development of our own technology started before the WPC came into the picture. The next generation GETPOWERPAD™ chargers will be Qi compatible. As stated before, we are ready to launch the Qi compatible chargers before this Christmas season. The current generation of mobile device doesn’t support this technology just yet. We think the best time to launch the GETPOWERPAD™ Qi chargers is once the major phone brands start to become (smartphones) Qi compatible.
What new devices can we expect from GETPOWERPAD™ the coming year?
We can’t disclose the line-up just yet, but among the Qi compatible line-up we’ll launch a really sleek single charger.
What is the company target for GETPOWERPAD™ and where will it be in five years from now?
Within the GETPOWERPAD™ company we are working hard to become a big player in the wireless power industry. Our first priority is not to become the biggest. Design and brand experience are the highest priorities within the GETPOWERPAD™ company. You could call us design freaks, design is an important thing in our lives and we strive to reflect this in the design and the quality of our products.
PowerBeam and Witricity showed a near field magnetic resonance (NFMR) charging system that charges on a distance, what do you think of this invention and will this be a threat to the inductive charging technology?
We don’t regard NFMR as threat but as an opportunity instead. The potential is huge. The degree of freedom it brings to the table is exciting. It opens up lots of opportunities. However it is not well developed enough yet for use in consumer products. This technology doesn’t have the highest priority at the moment at GETPOWERPAD™, we’ll see what will happen in the future.
Besides wireless charging systems for home and office use: are you working on adaption in cars, hotels and airports?
Yes, we are talking with different parties and our engineers are developing samples. We see a lot of potential in the automotive industry, although this brings some interesting challenges to the table for our engineers.
WPC, GETPOWERPAD™ and Zens are all based in the Netherlands. Can we say that the Netherlands is already one step ahead in wireless power?
Haha, well, I wouldn’t really say so. WPC is an initiative by Philips, based in Holland. Zens has been founded by ex-Philips employees. However, from previous experience in different industries I can say that “the Dutchies” are always well represented. The country is just full of entrepreneurs, traders and designers. Somehow they always seem to look far ahead to find new opportunities.
Last question: when you do think the wireless power industry will be mass-market?
Wireless power?.. Well, let’s say I expect the wireless charging market for smartphones to become mass market in the years to come starting off somewhere in 2012/2013.
GETPOWERPAD (official company name Bright Business Group BV) was founded in 2008 by three young entrepreneurs. GETPOWERPAD showed their first devices during IFA in Berlin, back in 2010. GETPOWERPAD is based in Venlo, the Netherlands. GETPOWERPAD’s aim is to become category leader on the wireless power market for home and office use.
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