TI working on an inductive charger for smartphones tablets. Um, Touchstone?
What have we here, Texas Instruments? Inductive charging that can be built into a device? Gee willikers, I feel like I've seen that before.
Oh, right, I use it every day. A recent report over at AnandTech shows off a new inductive charging system being developed by TI capable of wirelessly driving a charge into smartphones and eventually tablets via an integrated induction coil plus a matching coil on the base. This tech is practically exactly the same as what Palm has been shipping with webOS devices since 2009. We call it Touchstone.
The difference comes down to standards and manufacturers. Where Palm's Touchstone system was developed internally and is not compatible with any of the other wireless charging systems out there (e.g. Powermat), TI is working within the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi standard. Additionally, you might be struggling to remember the last non-calculator TI hardware you purchased. It was probably a Palm Pre - TI produces chips and other internal bits, and they're making this coil for eventual integration in the backs of their partner's devices. You know, like Touchstone coils were integrated into the backs of every webOS device.
Is this yet another opportunity where Palm/HP missed the boat on the potential of licensing out Touchstone to third parties and owning the standard, or possibly open sourcing the Touchstone standard and getting Palm (or HP)-branded Touchstone pucks on desks and nightstands worldwide, even if they were charging an HTC or Samsung phone? Not exactly, though we're disappointed to not see Palm or HP on the Wireless Power Consortium's members list.