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If you have a family of three or more where everyone has their own iPhone, Apple Watch, and maybe there’s a pair of AirPods or two in there, you probably have a pretty messy countertop or table somewhere in a common area. Snakes of charging cables and lots of plugs occupied by power adapters.
Multi-device wireless chargers can help reduce this mess, but they don’t necessarily conform to your family’s needs. RapidX has a nice solution in its Modula5 wireless charging system. It’s a flexible set of charging “pods” that magnetically snap together on either side. The company makes a phone charging pod (that works for AirPods with wireless charging cases) and Apple Watch pod, so you just mix and match what you need for your family’s device makeup.
Snap it together
Each of the phone or Apple Watch pods are identically-sized “tiles,” if you will, that have magnetic power connectors on the left and right side, and a USB-C port on the back edge. Simply snap together whichever pods you need in whatever order you want, and plug the USB-C cable into any one of them. Power will be routed through to them all, and there are precious few rules to follow. All you need to know is that there is a seven-pod limit, and a maximum of five phones at once.
If you’ve got an iPhone, the phone pods will charge it at 7.5 watts. Android phones go up to 10W. The Apple Watch pod charges at a maximum of 1.5W, the same as Apple’s own charger.
You’ll need to supply more power to charge more phones. A 30W USB-C power adapter is recommended to charge two phones at a time, and a 65W adapter for three or more.
Reasonably priced and easy
The phone pod retails for $30 and comes with a nice braided USB-C cable. The Apple Watch pod is quite a bit more expensive at $60, but it includes a USB-A to USB-C cable (as the Apple Watch comes with a USB-A power adapter) and does not require you to use your existing watch charger as so many cheap Apple Watch charging stands do. The watch charging disc folds down flat if you prefer, or up at a 90-degree angle if you’ve got a loop band or just prefer not to lay your watch down flat.
RapidX sells a couple of bundles that help bring the price down. Two phone pods and a 30W USB-C power adapter is $80, and one phone pod with one Apple Watch pod plus a 30W power adapter is $100. RapidX also sells a nice 65W USB-C PD power adapter for $35 if you plan to chain together a lot of pods, but any higher-wattage USB-C power adapter should do the trick.
Those aren’t bargain-basement prices, but we’ve seen worse, and from products that don’t include power adapters. To some degree you’re paying for convenience, though. Using one plug and one cable to wirelessly charge a mix-and-match set of phones, AirPods, and Apple Watches is a neat trick, and the system is simple enough for anyone. Just snap the pods together, plug one in, and you’re in business.
The premium price and somewhat utilitarian design are not worth it for individuals or couples with just a few devices, but families dealing with severe cable clutter are going to be very happy with this.
I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life - over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.