GM Gizmo Cuts Cord on Phone Charging

LAS VEGAS ( TheStreet) -- GM will introduce a new gizmo that eliminates the need for charging cords for personal electronic devices in many of its 2012 cars.

The automaker has teamed with Powermat, a privately-held, Michigan-based, wireless charging company, to develop the device, which was unveiled Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

GM said the function will be available in many Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles starting in mid-2012. GM Ventures, its venture capital subsidiary, will invest $5 million in Powermat to accelerate the technology's development and support efforts to grow Powermat's business globally.

"Imagine a mat or shelf where you could put your iPhone, your Droid or other personal device and charge it automatically while you commute to work, run errands or as you're driving on a family vacation," said Micky Bly, GM's lead electronics executive, in a prepared statement. "The Chevy Volt will be one of the first applications, but we intend to expand it across our vehicle portfolio."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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