ARK is one of the latest portable wireless device chargers for people who are tired of having to tether their smartphone or tablet to an outlet when it runs out of juice. The small, block-like base uses Qi, an interoperable standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium.
ARK was created by a Los Angeles-based startup called BEZALEL, and is compatible with all Qi-certified devices, including the iPhone 4 and later, the Nokia Lumia series, and Samsung Galaxy S3/S4, and Nexus 4.
It’s important to note, however, that iPhones need a charging case to work with ARK, which will be shipped with the base (though a case for the iPhone 5c is still being developed). Samsung Galaxy devices, meanwhile, must use a patch that attaches to their batteries. ARK can be used directly with devices that are Qi-wireless charging capable.
Despite those drawbacks, ARK seeks to differentiate from its competitors in a couple ways. Based on tests with the iPhone 5s, ARK’s creators claim it can charge phones 20% faster than other wireless chargers and 5% faster than cable-charging from battery packs. The base’s battery can hold up to three full charges and it also has a USB port to allow for dual charging, which is handy if you carry around a tablet and smartphone. (The Energizer Qi-Enabled 3 Position Inductive Charger also charges multiple devices at one time, but it is much larger and less portable than ARK).