Maybe you’ve heard of Fli charging, maybe you haven’t. You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the technology, or at least aware that it exists. In a nutshell, Fli Charge technology uses a conductive charging system that allows powered surfaces to charge a variety of battery powered devices. Instead of plugging, say, your phone, into a micro-USB cable that runs to your wall outlet, you’ll just plop the phone down onto a charging pad. The subject is probably interesting to anyone with a fascination toward newer technology. And, as you might imagine, an office full of tool-nerds can get pretty jazzed about any sort of advancement in cordless tech. But with hints that Craftsman conductive charging might be on the way?
Let’s just say that it got our attention. We wonder why Craftsmen hasn’t shared their hot gossip with us directly, but perhaps it’s still a secret. Thanks to the Consumer Electronics Show, the cat’s out of the bag and we’re herding it.
Is Craftsman Conductive Charging In Our Near Future?
It’s hard to say when or if we can expect Craftsman conductive charging tools to hit stores. So far as we know, mum’s the word from Craftsman’s end. And, to be fair, Fli Charge hasn’t given us a whole lot of information to go on. Basically, they were showing off their tech at the recent CES Expo in Las Vegas. A couple of Craftsman drills were featured in some of the photos. Plus, there was a short blurb saying Craftsman and Fli Charge are possibly developing a partnership.
The thing is, for conductive charging to work, there needs to be metal-to-metal contact between the charging pad and the instrument being charged. For a Craftsman battery to charge on the Fli Charge system, among other things, the battery needs to have integrated metal contacts installed on the bottom.
Additionally, the Fli Charge utilizes a sensor chip in the battery that communicates with the charging pad. When the sensor chip comes into contact with the pad, the pad will run a charge. If there’s contact, but no chip, the whole operation shuts down instantaneously. This safety precaution keeps the Fli Charge from running power to your hand, your keys, or anything else you might not intend to put 120V through.
All this is to say that these Craftsman batteries that were featured at CES meet the Fli Charge requirements for conductive charging. So it seems safe to say that Craftsman is at least toying with the idea. The idea seems pretty plausible at this point.
Craftsman Conductive Charging Not The First Wireless Charging
As cool as the idea is, you might remember that Bosch developed something similar a few years back. Granted, the Bosch system employed inductive charging. Rather than transferring energy through metal contacts, induction uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy from the pad to the battery. The technology didn’t really seem to take off like solar eclipse glasses, but it has its benefits. It allows for charging without having to remove the battery from the tool. Plus, a closed battery system leaves less room for water or dust ingress from your battery terminals.
While wireless charging never gained much traction in the Pro market, both conductive and inductive charging might make more headway in the DIY market. Most conductive charging caters towards the consumer market as it is, and having power tool charging to go along with your phone or tablet might garner a lot of attention. For the Pro market, this kind of technology is still only helpful to a relatively small sector. Regardless of how quickly we might see this come to market, it’s a compelling direction for the Sears-based brand.