Charging your gadgets is about to get easier

Chargers! Batteries! Ugh, they're everywhere! How many do you have? Aren't you sick of them?

Fortunately, it seems sanity is slowly spreading in the area of gadget-charging. First a group of mobile phone manufacturers agreed to all start using the same, cross-compatible micro-USB connector, meaning you could finally use, say, a Samsung charger with a Nokia phone. Then the first nifty wireless charging devices, like PowerMat, were introduced, so you could add a case to your iPhone and simply rest it on the mat to charge it.

But wireless charging had no standard, so you might need different pads for different objects. Now, wireless charging, too, has a standard - attractively dubbed 'Global Qi' - and Nokia and RIM (makers of the BlackBerry) have signed up. That means you can go out and buy a wireless charging mat, like the new Energizer Inductive Charger, and both your next mobile phone and your friend's - and your next camera - may well charge just by being left on the mat for a few hours. Pretty nifty, huh?

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