This is the world's thinnest wireless charger.
It's probably the smallest too.
And it will work with almost any phone case.
...but before we tell you about it, here are some initial reviews. We sent a few of our first prototypes out to some previous Carved customers and here is what they had to say....
- The charging speed was as expected. I was able to get about 13% from 30 minutes of charging without a case on and 10% in 30 minutes with a case on. The responsiveness of the charger was very quick as it started charging the phone before I even placed it on the pad, about a half inch away from the pad which is impressive.
- Aesthetics aside the charger performed wonderfully. The rectangle shape makes it easy to find the sweet spot to lay your phone and achieve the fastest charge possible. And it is FAST! I tested it with an iPhone XS and I achieved 41% in one hour. This test outperformed the previous circle style charger which charged 27% in one hour.
- Remarkable charger, I've only had it 24 hours but I have nothing but positive things to say about it at this point.
- When I look at this product, it get the impression that it's meant to be a good looking, pocketable/portable wireless charger that would go into my tech bag rather than stay on a table which is an appealing option for someone like myself who is more of a mobile techie. It looks good, charges speed is normal and it feels premium. The wood resin look really looks good on a wireless charger.
First of all, why does the world need ANOTHER Wireless Charger??
Yes I hear you, ok, but stick with me, I think we've got a really good reason...
I (John) loved having a wireless charger on my desk and by my bed, but I wasn't a fan of what they usually looked like. I think a wireless charger should disappear when you are using it, and should look awesome when you aren't. I also didn't like the fact that they seemed to work inconsistently with a case on. And it was hard to hit the sweet spot for the best charging speed.
So we fixed all that:
- We made the charger as thin as possible, when you are using it, it disappears. When you aren't, it looks awesome!
- It charges through almost any case (see below for some insane pics on this feature!).
- The smaller size and rectangle form factor make it much easier to intuitively hit the charging sweet spot.
This wireless charger is thin.
It's one of those things you have to see/touch/hold to really get. One of the best comparisons I've found is a stack of 4 credit cards. It's about the same thickness as a stack of 4 standard credit cards. Coincidentally you could stack 4 credit cards on top of it and your phone will still charge! Don't do that though! You might wipe out the magnetic strips.
The miracle behind the thickness (or lack thereof) is a simple little trick. Most of the necessary electronics have been moved into the end of the plug. That's also where the activity LED is.
The pad itself only contains the single 15W charging coil.
"Wireless" huh? I still see a wire in the pictures John!
Ok, we are just going to get this one out of the way early :) Yes, I know it seems like an oxymoron for a "Wireless Charger" to require a "wire". But unfortunately we gotta get the power from somewhere. We'll launch another Kickstarter when we solve this problem.
By the way, that thin looking cable can hold a 10lb weight, scroll down to see that photo!
This next feature is one of my personal favorites...
The charging distance is insane!
It will charge through (almost) any phone case (and a pack of Post-It's)!
We use a strong single charging coil to achieve the perfect balance of charging distance and heat dissipation. The problem with a lot of multi-coil chargers is that they can produce a lot of heat. A single coil design with a thin top, aluminum frame and acrylic bottom helps keep heat generation to a minimum. However, you still do not want to place any metal between your phone and the pad! We also never recommend using cases with magnets as they can cause issues with wireless chargers.
The 15 Watt coil means some seriously fast charge times.
But!! It does depend on your phone.
Most iPhones will charge at 7.5W. Samsung devices are usually 10W-12W. You'll need to do some research to find out exactly what speed your phone will charge at.
The important thing is, this Wireless Charger will max out almost every phone's capability. And if Apple ever upgrades their speeds, you'll instantly benefit, no need to replace it or buy a different cable.
This charger is fully Qi compatible and will work fine with any device that works with the Qi standard.
Each one is unique. We make thousands of Wood+Resin slices every week and we never get tired of seeing all the crazy new colors and swirls that come out of each block!
The photos throughout this campaign are just a few recent slices we've made. You can see many more at Carved.com (and they change all day, every day!)
Designing & Prototyping
We started with a pretty standard round, single coil design. We knew we wanted it to have some weight and last a long time, so a design requirement was a machined aluminum base. Each base is machined from a single piece of aluminum, no gaps, no seams.
We weren't happy with the size/charging area ratio of the round, single coil design. The Wood+Resin top looked really cool at that size, but it was hard to intuitively know where to put your phone.
Our next version was a rounded rectangle style with a triple coil (shown near the bottom of the prototype photo above). The triple coil design meant your phone could charge in more areas of the pad, but the triple coil doesn't add any speed and we felt like the additional cost wasn't worth it. The triple coil design also tends to create excess heat and that can be a problem in an enclosed design.
Our next try was a smaller version of the round idea, except we switched the port to USB-C instead of Micro-USB and upped the coil to 12W (from 10W before).
We launched this version for sale on carved.com in December 2018 and it has become one of our top sellers!
But we kept getting feedback that sometimes, with a case on, it wouldn't charge well. The typical design of almost every wireless charger on the market recesses their coil and then places a plastic cap or pad on top of it. So before you've even put your phone down, you already have extra distance between your phone and the coil. Most wireless chargers on the market don't work well at all when your phone is more than 10mm away from the coil. So when the design of the charging pad immediately creates a 3-5mm separation, it doesn't take a very thick case to break the charging connection.
So we took everything we'd learned, plus feedback from hundreds of customers, to create our latest version, the one you can back right now!
As we tested various design ideas, we found one simple feature that had a huge impact.
The charging spot had to be easy to hit.
The easier it was to hit the charging spot, we subconsciously felt more confident when we placed our phone down.
We actually found that going as small as possible, gave us more confidence in the product as we tested and used it. The rectangular design also helps your phone feel more stable on it, even though it is smaller than most phones!
We also really like the fact that when we were using the charging pad, it disappeared.
When we took our phone off, we had this slim, unobtrusive charging pad on our desk. It wasn't an ugly, plastic, bulky thing.
The more we used this design, the more liked it.
It's a single coil design except now we are using a 15W coil. The electronics have been moved to the plug which helps considerably with heat dissipation. It also means that the pad itself can be incredibly thin! Our pad is almost half the thickness of any other charger you can buy right now, even the ones that say they are the "World's thinnest!".
Our favorite part is the top though. We love making one of a kind products, each one totally unique. So we knew when we launched on Kickstarter, we wanted to be ready with our Wood+Resin material as an option for the top.
How We Make the Wood+Resin Material
We keep very tight control over our wood burl supply chain and processing. We buy our burls directly from only 2 suppliers who are doing the harvesting themselves. This helps us ensure that we know exactly where these burls came from and that they were responsibly and sustainably harvested.
We primarily work with Buckeye Burl from Northern California and Maple Burl from Northwestern Oregon.
Once we receive the wood burls (some of them weighing close to a ton!) we do the rest of the processing ourselves, all the way to finished slices!
You will get to pick the exact slice you want!
When this campaign has finished, and we are ready to start shipping (mid August), we will send each backer a link to view all of the slices we currently have in stock. This link will be sent out in the order of pledges so Early Bird backers will get first pick. But don't worry, we make thousands and thousands of new slices every week! Even if you don't find the perfect one right away, you can wait a few days (or weeks) and wait for your slice soul-mate.
Useful Packaging, not just trash.
We like to design products, not trash. It's important to us that our packaging materials are either fully recyclable or functional. Your Thin Wireless Charger will be shipped in one of our topographical canvas bags. They have a drawstring top and are useful for a lot more than just transportating our products to your door! We've got a variety of different topo prints that we use, each one is a different spot somewhere in a US National Park. Order again and you might get a different bag!
Where it's made.
Electronics and aluminum frame are made in Shenzhen, China. The wood top is made at our shop in Elkhart, Indiana where it's all assembled, packed and shipped to your open arms!
Some longer reviews...
Here are a couple more longer reviews that we received from some of our first beta testers. Btw, these are all normal people, they weren't paid other than getting a free product to test
"Out of the box I love how slim the charger as as well as the incredible look of the wood + resin. It looks great anywhere it's put! It charges quickly and the cord is also very slim and has a nice standard length of 1M."
- Wes J.
As an owner of many Carved products already, I was interested in this new style of charger and wanted to compare it to Carved’s previous circle charger model.
I had been searching for the thinnest wireless charger and the Carved circle charger was already the thinnest I could find. However, you can stack two of these new chargers on top of each other and they are STILL thinner than the circle charger.
The casing is a very solid aluminum that has a premium weight and feel to it. The resin and wood immediately draw your eyes in and becomes the focal point of any surface it is placed on. The natural wood paired with a man made resin gives the appearance of a coastline and is absolutely stunning. My one concern with the design is how thin the power cord looked. It’s very desirable to have a thin cord, but I was worried it would be fragile. However, the cord has held up well and I am now confident in its thickness and design.
Aesthetics aside the charger performed wonderfully. The rectangle shape makes it easy to find the sweet spot to lay your phone and achieve the fastest charge possible. And it is FAST! I tested it with an iPhone XS and I achieved 41% in one hour. This test outperformed the previous circle style charger which charged 27% in one hour.
Simply put, this charger is the most beautiful, the thinnest, and the fastest Qi charger I have ever used with an iPhone. If you like well designed tech with beauty to match, then I highly recommend Carved’s new wireless Qi charger."
- Sam W.
"I love the packaging! Super cool drawstring case that I can use for other things later on. The handwritten “thank you” and other extras are always appreciated and one of my favorite things about Carved.
The charger design is very unique. Most wireless chargers are of a circular shape, so to have the small rectangular shape sets it apart. Not a huge footprint, which is great. Beautiful Carved resin and wood design is always great to see.
So far so good in terms of its functionality. I set my iPhone XS on it and it charges instantly with no issues."
- Michael A.
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Risks and challenges
We've been working hard on this project for the past 4 months and don't foresee any major issues in delivering as expected.
If we get a massive response and thousands of orders, it may take us a little longer to work through them all, but we're ready for it!
We've got a very talented team of designers, engineers, shippers and customer service peeps.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)