As a longtime photographer/videographer/audio nerd, charging all the devices at home is often a chaotic nightmare, and if you’re taking your equipment on the road, it gets worse. It doesn’t speak highly of me as a professional, but I’ve found myself without the right charger, a missing battery or a light that turns out to not be as fully charged as I had hoped more often than I’d care to admit. Needless to say, I got excited about the Pwrboard charges-everything platform when they virtually showed me a prototype at CES.
In a nutshell, Pwrboard is a modular universal charging device that promises to charge pretty much whatever you throw at it, no matter what your combination of cameras, microphones, accessory devices and other doo-dahs you may have kicking around as part of your “goodness, do I really need all of this stuff just to film some Instagram videos” equipment satchel.
The clever invention comes with a “base” that works like the switching station. It houses a high-efficiency power supply unit and negotiates the voltage and power delivery to each of the modules. Each module can be connected to the base with quick-release fasteners, so you can set up your charging station however you like, with any combination of chargers, for pretty much any battery type you can imagine.
The company is kicking off with a crowdfunding campaign early this year and shipping the product by the end of the year, although they don’t have more accurate timings available yet. At launch, Pwrboard claims it will ship with more than 30 modules, supporting more than 150 of the most popular SLR and mirrorless cameras, action cameras, drones and peripherals.
The Pwrboard base boards will be available on Kickstarter for around $250-$350, depending on the board size. The charger modules will be priced around $15 per module, the team told me. Given that most third-party chargers cost significantly less than this, you’re paying significantly over the odds for convenience, but I can absolutely see that making sense for the right kind of user.
The company told me it plans to create an open source community with development kits so enthusiasts and third-party developers can create their own modules.