More Touchstone Details Emerge | webOS Nation
 
 

More Touchstone Details Emerge 9

by Jason Robitaille Fri, 13 Feb 2009 5:53 pm EST

For the past few days Adam Kaufman, a Product Manager at Palm, has been answering questions on Facebook.  Besides his love of tequila, we did learn a few new Touchstone details.  When asked about the possibility of in-car usage, Adam replied:

One of the cool parts about Touchstone, is the micro-suction base that we use to adhere Touchstone to a desk or office environment. This allows for a firm base for your Pre and won’t cause Touchstone to be pulled off the desk when you pick up Pre. With that said, Touchstone isn’t suitable for a vehicle and isn’t designed for acceleration and deceleration. Stay tuned for cool new accessories down the road, and in the mean time, take a look at our new vehicle charger, it is really cool!! Found at http://www.palm.com/us/products/accessories/vpc.html

I never thought about it before, but a Touchstone-style vehicle charger could be incredibly handy for GPS or even just easy access to mp3 and phone controls with no hassle of plugging in connections.  Hopefully Palm has something in the works for the future.  Later on in the Facebook thread, Adam was asked about the charging time and efficiency, to which he responded:

When we developed Touchstone, that was one of our goals...if it wasn't as effective as the wall charger we include with Pre, we shouldn't do it. Check out our site: http://www.palm.com/us/products/accessories/dock.html#tab2

Touchstone charges at the same rate as our wall charger.

Wow!  I was not expecting to hear that. I really thought that the Touchstone would be inefficient and purely a cool-factor kind of item. If that kind of impressive charge rate proves true, it won't be hard for the Touchstone to be quite the hit.

And in case you're wondering, Adam Kaufman will continue answering questions in Palm's Facebook thread until Feb. 17th, so feel free to pop on by.

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9 Comments

"And in case you're wondering, Adam Kaufman will continue answering questions in Palm's Facebook thread until Feb. 17th, so feel free to pop on by."

Yet more proof that a Feb 15th date is not happening.

Just because "Charges in same amount of time as wall charger" doesnt mean it is as power efficient as the wall charger. But they could just increase the power use to reach the same charging time.

Touch

anything can change so all we can do is sit back and ride this coming sunday may happen or may not. even though on facebook the guy will be answering questions up until Feb. 17th who really knows that might change also.

Is there any details yet on the battery life of the pre? For me this will be the deal maker/breaker.

I wouldn't trust any numbers out of Palm, they're often very misleading or inaccurate. With a tinier battery than the Treo, larger screen and more radios, I'm betting Seidio's gonna make a killing on extended life batteries. Matlive even "hunchback" ones. You can probably do a lot with the OS to improve battery life, but probably not suspend the rules of physics.

Is that a sync button I see on that USB cable?!?

I don't think we'll ever see a touchstone-style vehicle charger. The reason is quite simple: the charging 'connection' is the same as in an electrical toothbrush, i.e. based on induction. Induction works only with AC power and as a 12 V vehicle power system is DC, it would probably be too complex and expensive to convert DC-AC-AC-DC.. I guess the efficiency wouldn't be too good either (referring to power losses).

regarding the comment "Induction works only with AC power and as a 12 V vehicle power system is DC, it would probably be too complex and expensive to convert DC-AC-AC-DC.."

The Pre's AC adapter outputs USB power to the cord which terminates with a MicroUSB connector. The MicroUSB connector is either plugged into the TouchStone or directly into the side of the Pre.

If you get a USB output car power adapter and plug it into your Pre, it will charge:

http://store.palm.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3457917

So why would it matter if your car or AC mains is the source of electricity? It's all USB (DC) in the cord.