There isn't much information online about this charging system, but I took a small risk and ordered it anyway. I'm glad I did...this is a great little system and is easy and convenient to use.
In the box you get the charging mat, an AC adapter, and two charging clips. The charging clip plugs into the USB port on the PS3 controller and has a spring-loaded arm that hooks on to the bottom of the controller, between the thumb sticks. The clip doesn't get in the way at all - my fingers don't touch it when I'm playing. My hands are average-sized for a man - if you've got gargantuan paws you might notice the clip but it won't hinder play.
Once the clips are inserted in the controllers, plug in the mat and drop the controllers on it. You'll hear a satisfying click as magnets pull the controllers to the mat. The 4 lights on the controllers will start to blink indicating that charging is taking place. That is all there is to it...this takes 2 minutes, tops.
So how does the mat work? It uses induction charging. The base produces a rapidly-changing magnetic field which creates a current in the receiver on the controller. The receiver is connected to the USB port so the current charges the battery. This method means the mat is safe to touch. The metal stripes on the mat are not electrified and present no hazard. The magnetic field is not very strong - this is why the controllers have to sit on the mat. It's also why the mat can be placed next to the PS3 without damaging the PS3's hard drive (I keep my mat next to my PS3 and have had no trouble)
Charging doesn't seem to take any longer than it does using a USB cable which is a nice surprise. Induction charging often charges at a slower rate.
My only gripe about this product is the length of the AC adapter cord. It's about 5' long which may sound like a lot but I keep my PS3 and mat on the top shelf of the entertainment center. I had to use an extension cord to plug in the adapter. This wasn't enough for me to dock a star from the review.
One last note: it's safe to leave the controllers on the mat all the time. The controller has built-in protection against overcharging. That's why you can plug the controller into a USB port and not worry about it overcharging. Once the lights stop blinking then the controller is charged and can sit happily on the mat awaiting your next gaming session.
I'm glad to be free of USB cables. I know my controllers will always be fully charged when I'm ready to game, and as an added bonus I know where I can find my controllers now. The kids weren't very good about putting the controllers away after using them but for some reason they're good about putting them on the mat.
I expect this will be a reliable system - there are no moving parts, nothing to plug in (after the initial assembly) or unplug. Just charge, game, and repeat.