Intel bringing wireless charging to a laptop near you | webOS Nation

Intel bringing wireless charging to a laptop near you 18

by Ryan St. Andrie Mon, 13 Aug 2012 9:59 pm EDT

Intel bringing wireless charging to a laptop near you

webOS users have long enjoyed the beauty of wireless charging. Since the introduction of the Touchstone with the release of the original Pre some three years ago we have enjoyed a wire-free charging experience from our devices. It's a wonderful experience that makes one's life a less painful ordeal than constantly fiddling with a mess of cords. Not to mention it gave us the ability to have a different type of relationship with our devices. This relationship was enhanced ten-fold with the introduction of Exhibition mode in webOS 2.1.

Despite being well-received, wireless charging never took off outside the realm of webOS products (unlike many of the other features current phones "borrowed" from webOS). Many have tried, but the idea never seemed to catch on. Perhaps the most popular effort thus far has been Energizer and Powermat's attempt with their charging pads. Unfortunately these products require the user to install a compatible battery cover that usually makes the device less elegant than initially intended. There is also the aspect of end cost which ended up being the reason that Sharp and NTT Docomo's attempt at the wireless game via the Qi standard hasn't been a success.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle wireless charging has is the fact that so far it usually requires some type of dock like the Touchstone. Even then X device only works with X charger. So not only do you still have to dock your phone somewhere but there has yet to be a platform agnostic standard.

Those days may be over, as Intel will be offering a chip to be put into Intel-powered devices (a good majority of traditional computers and soon to be many tablets) that will transmit power over the air to Intel-powered smartphones. The device will not have to be put in any kind of orientation to charge it will simply start charging so long as it is within range of the device that is transmitting power.

This brings forth a lot of possibilities. Intel could have a serious winner on their hands if they not only place this chip into Intel-powered laptops, but they also could offer stand-alone dock chargers like the Touchstone, but with a little more variety and less finicky magnets to worry about. Though there is the problem of Intel-powered smartphones - it's not like there are a lot of x86-powered phones out there, and ARM chips have a massive lead in the smartphone space right now.

So this could either be a revolutionary step forward or just another floundering attempt to cash in on a cool idea. While part of us hopes this ins't a flop, there's also a part of us that's not really thrilled about yet another competing standard in the wireless charging market. Especially one that's inextricably tied to computers and smartphones containing specific chips. But with companies like Intel jumping in on the game, it's clear that the age of wirelss charging is upon us - yet again Palm may have been ahead of the game by a good bit.

Source: DigiTimes; Via Android Central


Nikola Tesla!

Pre3 Touchstone. Why do you torture us so?

funny. just earlier today i was in Big Lots and saw an electric toothbrush with inductive charging and had to think about a forum thread full of people trying to argue that it was somehow stolen from the touchstone even though the tech has been around. Toothbrush was only like $9.99 by the way lol.

yeah and cars were no new invention because there were bikes before :X

That's a horrible attempt at analogy. A bike and a car are not the same idea of propulsion. One is human power one is a mechanical combustion engine. The toothbrush and a charger are both inductive charging. That's was the point of the discussion in the forums. Clearly you're still confused like they were and think that Palm invented wireless charging. lol. silly.

I had a cybersonic toothbrush way back when. So I was aware of the technology way before the pre came out. That hasn't stopped me from giving palm credit for being the first to attempt to apply this technology to a smartphone. And a fine attempt it was

sure. nobody doesn't give them credit. They made a good charger. The person in the forums wasn't arguing they don't deserve credit but was arguing that apple, by getting a patent for inductive charging device, had somehow stole it from Palm and wondered how you could patent something Palm had done. Now he didn't understand Intellectual property law which is understandable. Most people don't and have little need to. But still the point was, one, you can patent different tech that does the same thing, and two, Palm didn't invent inductive charging just and inductive charger so unless you actually steal the patented part of the touchstone tech, whatever that may be, you're not stealing. and it's entirely possible that any one using it could get a valid license to use the tech the same way parts of webos are other peoples code that can't be open sourced as i understand.

"that apple, by getting a patent for inductive charging device, had somehow stole it from Palm and wondered how you could patent something Palm had done. "

they can't, and it is worthless patent even if granted (and there are many of examples of such), and it would be made null and void in one quick hurry if brought up in the court.

I think there is some misunderstanding comparing Touchstone charging (while technically wireless, it is not contact-less - and there are many table docks that achieve very similar functionality and user experience, using traditional connectors in place of induction), with a wireless, contact-less and REMOTE charging standard.

While Touchstone is miles better than picking cables into small holes (for one thing, you can dock the phone single handed), yet saying it is the same as OP charging concept, is like saying, that a donkey cart is the same as family sedan - both are transportation devices, using wheels.

That remote charging standard is as far ahead of the Touchstone, as Touchstone is ahead of cable.

Technically the TouchStone & phone do NOT need to actually touch - a quick test with my Pre3 shows that the two "connect" when they're about 3 to 4mm apart. Not really "remote", but clearly NOT contact.

technically, I have yet to see an idiot who would keep the two few millimeters apart, just to prove his "point". Jaysus f. Christ, what a stupid hairsplitting argument.

The article is also, to my mind, sheer fantasy. "A chip"? No way. For any kind of remote charging there are only three technologies: magnetic as used by the Touchstone and toothbrushes, electrostatic as used by some nucleonics instrumentation, and radio. Magnetic and electrostatic are short range. "Any orientation"? "Remote charging"? "Over the air"? Sorry, don't believe it. Although the output from an aerial can be somewhat directional, that involves it being quite large unless the radiation is microwaves. So, here I am beaming microwaves at a phone and trying to get it to charge. That is another receiver on the phone and another lot of interference to filter out. Also, converting the AC from the aerial to DC implies a rectifier, and the higher the frequency the lower the efficiency. This means more power, and if it is being generated by a laptop the battery life will be greatly reduced.

So: if I'm wrong, and why yes, it used to say "electronic engineer" in my passport, then I am wrong and I wasted all that time at University learning about aerials and signal propagation and EM waves.

On the other hand, the most novel recent technology in the EM world has been fractal aerials.

I am going to guess that what this actually is, is a small power inverter circuit that will be built into the laptop, controlled by the "chip". This will output AC to a pad with suitably arranged coils in it. You will lay the phone or whatever on the pad and it will charge using magnetic induction.

I may be overconfident, I may be wrong, but at least I've done experimental work with transmitters and receivers at short range, so I do have some basis for my opinions.

I would have chosen a durable, slimmer and lighter product over touchstone.

I like the touchstone just the way it is. The angle is perfect and it works great as a "kickstand" if I need it to.

Excellent! Now I won't have to keep reordering chargers every time they break or I leave them in a hotel room.

I have a few friends that hacked a galaxy to use the touchstone but he back cover was tiht and bulging.
If HP was smart, they would create back covers for the current crop of phones, and cell the touchstones themselves. They own the patent, why not take something positive out of this fiasco that was Leo?
I have both a pre2, love the webos and touchstone, and a galaxy, which is more practical today. Would easily pay for a cover to charge on my touchstone, or even pay for another one.

As one who was and is working on the low-levels of webOS I'm truly amazed that the Galaxy worked with the TS. At least on webOS phones powerd does a fair amount of communication and control to get the TS charging working properly. (Anyone who has experienced the "ding-dong" bug has seen an unfortunate side-effect....)


I've taken apart one of my original Pre(-) Touchstone backs and implanted it into Galaxy 2 case, with microUSB plug soldered to coil's output terminals. Worked fine as a POC, was holding the Galaxy on the TS charger all right and charging the battery.

I have never sorted the microUSB thing though, I've found the internals of SGS 2 to tiny to mess around with trying to solder things there, so it kind of defied the purpose of using it for me.

It is certainly doable, without anything other than that.

I don't know, maybe there would be some issues with overcharging the battery, if used for prolonged periods of time (? - is it not the phone that controls the battery charge, through microUSB port?), but I haven't seen any in my quick & dirty tests - wasn't leaving it on the TS long enough to be possible problem, during my tests