TI working on an inductive charger for smartphones tablets. Um, Touchstone? | webOS Nation
 
 

TI working on an inductive charger for smartphones tablets. Um, Touchstone? 85

by Derek Kessler Tue, 17 Jan 2012 12:54 pm EST

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.

Source: AnandTech; Via: Engadget

85 Comments

first !

Douche!:o

Stupid, stupid Leo....

Do you guys even read the source links? From Engadget:

"When it does arrive, however, it promises to do away with those cumbersome specialized sleeves and back covers that are currently needed for inductive charging. Instead, it'll deliver efficient in a package that's small enough to be installed as part of a device's internal circuitry."

That pretty much makes this far superior to the limited (and overpriced) Touchstone technology that most here only got once retailers and carrier stores put it on extreme clearance to get this WebOS junk off their valuable shelf space. This is also why I laugh at "wireless" solutions like Touchstone, which need...a WIRE and a base to work.

These guys are working toward TRULY wireless tech.

"...TRULY wireless tech." WTF are you talking about. Yeah, they're going to wield the energy out of thin air! Go back to school, fool.

Google.

Two seconds.

http://goo.gl/jpl6U (Maximum PC Article)
"With the help of the Haier group—a Chinese electronics manufacturer—WiTricity demonstrated this technology at CES by wirelessly powering a 32-inch television at a distance of six feet.

The company’s prototype, which you can see for yourself at www.witricity.com, consists of a transmitter that converts AC power (via a wall socket) into a magnetic field, and then uses the field to transmit this magnetic energy to a capture device. This device then converts the magnetic energy into electricity. The two devices are highly resonant, meaning wireless energy transfer is highly efficient.

Thus far, WiTricity has been extremely quiet about its plans and products, but the company’s web site says that it’s currently working to miniaturize the technology so that it can be embedded directly into devices and systems. This will eliminate the need for the external capture device. By the end of 2013, we should have our first wirelessly charged smartphones."

This is a concrete step toward that. Not Touchstone.

tesla years ago

I guess you're not familiar with the work going on to transmit power from the walls and such. Color me skeptical about the success of such work, but there have been enough advances that it's possible in the not-too-distant future.

WTF are you talking about. Yeah, they're going to wield the energy out of thin air!

Uhm...yes. There is work being done on this. Here's one that was recently on All Things D: http://allthingsd.com/20110602/demo-at-d9-ubeam/

"The plug-in charge station is designed to transmit ultrasound waves, which are converted to electricity by the adapter."

Reading the source and understanding the source are two different things.

The source is commenting on the specialized hardware you had to add to your current device to get wireless charging in a neat little package. They are not talking about getting rid of the charging station/base/mat part.

Yes, we can agree that the goal of the wireless group is ultimately to send power through the air, but that is not what this article is about.

It's valid to say that Palm/HP has been at this point for years.

No, it's not actually. It's silly to equate a specialized solution that requires a mat or a special magnetized back or whatever and a general solution that does not.

That internal standardization that TI is creating here will be the first step toward getting rid of bases/mats/whatever. Then, once ambient surge protectors and other power distribution modules become commonplace, the circle is complete. It wouldn't happen with Touchstone technology.

When you implement a technology that others quickly adopt then you can say that you were ahead of your time. When you implement a technology that nobody else adopts and then you discontinue yours, that's called a failure.

If Palm really wanted people to adopt the Touchstone, they wouldn't have charged $80 for them and not even include a measly power adapter. They treated it as a profit center at the expense of the end users and, in the end, got what they deserved.

The failure of the Touchstone probably has hindered any attempts at inductive charging because any product designer who brings it up will have the Palm debacle thrown in their face and laughed at.

THANK YOU.

Palm's webOS "cards" fast app switching = ahead of its time.

Palm's Touchstone tech = overpriced nonsense that relied on too many external pieces that weren't even sold together!

One has been repeatedly flattered by imitation and is hugely influential. The other is a proprietary deadend that no one is bothering with.

So the Apple Lisa and Newton are failures, not ahead of their time, correct?

.

So why is TI doing it now?

I don't get this kind of article. Yes, the TouchStone was the first mass produced inductive charging system for smartphones. I get that.

But, why the animosity towards anyone else who might come up with a solution that is similar (note: it is quite a bit different, but I understand that Derek can't take the time to become familiar with the technology before damning it with animosity.).

I see that you right point some animosity towards HP and Palm, but not until after you do the, for some reason, obligatory "nana nana boo boo" towards any technology that is even remotely similar.

I never get the "we did it first" mantra either. In most cases, it doesn't mean anything, except for "fanboy" pride...

"I see that you right point some animosity towards HP and Palm, but not until after you do the, for some reason, obligatory "nana nana boo boo" towards any technology that is even remotely similar."

...the reason for that, again, are for the last Pre Faithful hold outs still left.

Er...

I didn't sense any animosity from the writer towards "anyone else who might come up with a solution that is similar."

Actually, what I felt from the article was animosity towards Palm, regarding missed opportunities to expand and succeed.

Read it again.

I've read it.

"Gee willikers, I feel like I've seen that before. Oh, right, I use it every day."

What would you say that is for? He is attempting to belittle their solution.

Read it again.

Yes, and then later in his article he reveals why he was saying that -- as fuel for the "Palm missed another opportunity" fire.

He's ripping on Palm. Nowhere in his article do I see him ripping on T.I.

#1 - Why do you care?
#2 - Why are you here?

In this case "fanboy" pride should mean something because we are a small community.A lot of people don't even know that palm hardware has wireless charging. When other platforms get what we have had for a long time, their fanboys act as if their platform is so much more superior because they have these new features that we have had for a while.

I have no animosity towards what TI is doing I am actually glad especially since there is no more Palm hardware and I will at some point have to make a switch. Touchstone charging was a huge thing for me. Knowing that other phones will have this tech is a good thing.

"A lot of people don't even know that palm hardware has wireless charging. When other platforms get what we have had for a long time, their fanboys act as if their platform is so much more superior because they have these new features that we have had for a while. "

I agree...but would that even matter in a few years? Palm may have had it first, but its over now. We "lost", WebOS is sunk and RIM, Google (and soon probably Apple and MS) will be picking from whats left of the corpse that's lying in the mobile gutter, and all of them are going to promote what they picked up as "firsts". And in a way it would be, since it would be first time these things show up in a stable platform.

We will always remember the Touchstone and its real origins, but in a few years, it'll just be some interesting bit of trivia we can bring up against newer BBOS fans showing of their card-like UI.

It still matters today tho because a lot of people have a hard time understanding what we find so special about WebOS/Touchstone. I get some personal satisfaction when I see people get excited about some feature that I have had for a while.

That's pretty much how fans of iOS and Android feel when they see the fourms here all atwitter when Zinio, an onscreen keyboard or document editing FINALLY comes to WebOS.

That's a poor analogy because:
A: We knew what we were missing all along
B: Zinio and Open Office/Smart Office are both apps that do not require us buying a new phone.

Trust me....people knew EXACTLY what they'd be missing if they got rid of their iPhone or Android device and switched to WebOS.

Hence...where we are now.

?

Why are you constantly saying that Touchstone is **** while praising what TI is doing when there is no discernible difference. Your comment makes no sense.

No discernible difference?....except for this will be superior, widely adopted, more efficient, require no special covers on the phone, and will help lead to such ubiquity that soon "bases" won't be needed either.

Aside from that, exactly the same. Hope TI is prepared to pay "royalties" to the originators at Palm.

Oh, wait....

http://www.gizmag.com/go/8191/

http://www.gizmag.com/go/8191/

How dare you point out an article that obviously predates the TouchStone. Palm created this technology from SCRATCH!!! They were the FIRST!!!

Obviously this article is a FAKE!

I still just don't get why the article couldn't take the slant "Hey look at this cool technology that TI is developing. It is similar to what we had/have with the TouchStone. Now other phones/devices will be able to enjoy the same wireless charging that we have know for the past two years!"

Because then it wouldn't have the page-view generating "oh no he di'in't (neck roll)" status that this article has.

It's all in how you view the article, and your comment reflects that as well.

I choose to look at the article objectively, while you choose to make up stories and accuse the writer of saying things he or she never said.

If you're objectively saying this isn't a BS snark piece, you're lying.

Your "objective" position is demonstrably false. Almost as bad as Derek's ignorance to the predecessors of Touchstones in mobile charging and differences between TI's implementation and Palm's.

Er.... Derek mentioned that in his article as well....

"Superior" - how so?
"Widely adopted" - of course
"More efficient" - please provide evidence
"Bases won't be needed either" - I am looking at the data sheets at TI right now and technology so far requires a Transmitting and Receiving pair. What evidence do you have (other than googling a bunch of stuff you don't seem to understand)that the bases won't be needed.

Every other point is answered in the Anand Tech article for anyone with basic reading comprehension, but your last one is a blatant misquote.

What I actually wrote was: "help lead to such ubiquity that soon 'bases' won't be needed..."

Anyway....you stick with Touchstones 4 Life, and I'll go enjoy the improvements on viable platforms with current hardware. Deal?

I can assure you that I have more than basic reading comprehension for a tech article such as this with my background in Electronic Engineering and all.

Instead of answering the questions I posed, you refer me to an article that does not answer the questions.

The article mentions the efficiency of existing inductive chargers (not necessarily the touchstone) but does not indicate how much more efficient the TI solution is. None of the Palm/HP products require "special" covers by the way.

For your last comment "and will help lead to such ubiquity that soon "bases" won't be needed either" can be interpreted in two ways:
1. That the charging bases aren't needed because the technology doesn't require it, or
2. Charging bases would be located in many areas/devices/coffee tables/dashboards, etc so the user wouldn't have to buy bases specifically for their phones.

I assumed the former based on comments you made earlier.

In any case, the article here on WebOSnation is about the technologies being very similar. How the product is adopted doesn't change this fact.

The article clearly answers the questions. The current standard for wireless charging is more or less 5W. That's Touchstone...Powermat...whatever have you.

The TI Tablet circuitry will double this to 10, and that will then filter to smartphones, making the process quicker and more efficient.

Palm WebOS products did require special backs initially. They eventually added it in the design (too late since you only get one chance to make a first impression), but all it did eventually was help make the Touchpad fatter and far less attractive to prospective buyers.

Basically, wherever the industry (and success) was going, Palm went in the opposite direction.

People like big screen phones. Palm makes fun of phones being too big. Industry likes NFC and wireless syncing. Palm wants proprietary Touch-To-Share that needs physical contact. Industry likes slabs. Palm likes sliders. Industry likes standardized wireless charging with widespread support. Palm goes it alone with lame Touchstones that don't have covers or cables needed to complete the kit.

"The article clearly answers the questions" - which ones?

Again, the article seemed to only compare their technology against the third party solutions used by non-touchstone devices. The article says the "current standard is just 5W for SMARTPHONES" not the current standard for wireless charging. The 10W solution
that they mention is intended for the iPad 2.

Doubling the wattage will NOT necessarily make the process quicker unless the battery technology allows it. If you use your iPad 2A (10W) power adapter to charge your iPhone, it will not charge any faster than if you used your 1A (5W) charger. It would actually be LESS efficient to use a higher wattage charger to charge a lower wattage device.

If you knew much about this subject you would also know that the HP Touchpad tablet requires 2A of current to charge/power it. Since the standard for USB is 5V and the current for the Touchpad is 2A, the Touchstone for the Touchpad is clearly already delivering close to 10W of power.

As an original Pre owner and now a Pre2 owner, the back was sold with the optional Touchstone for the Pre. Came included with the Pre2. That's more of a marketing decision as we know they were strapped for cash when the Pre was released (I know this I deal with it everyday). The fact that the back was separate doesn't make it special since it was a part of the original design. Also, I am looking at the removed back as we speak and I can assure you that the coil in the Pre is no thicker than the coils in the TI prototypes. Of course having it directly on the PCB would make a difference.

"Basically, wherever the industry (and success) was going, Palm went in the opposite direction" except they did get it right for many years when Apple failed with the Apple Newton. Also, RIM with their portrait keyboards still had the most market share for smartphones when the Pre debuted in 2009. One could make the argument that they were following market success.

As for Palm going the other way, If every body stuck with Industry then the Industry would remain stagnant. Was there an established industry for Slab phones before the iPhone, no, it was Razr, Krazr, Phazr, whatever small and thin phone, that were the trend setters at the time. Successfully companies like Sony and Apple are most notorious for deviating from standards yet they are successful..

How do you send magnetic fields or any stream of engergy strong enough to charge a phone/tablet/laptop/etc into the air but it not affect anything else in the area like a credit card, or a circuit bearing device, or the human body? You would have to only have the device in that specific area. Would rather have a dock to control where the engery is going. There are always some "wires" in "wireless", unless we are going to use solar energy.

I believe the failure of the Touchstone was due to the failure of the Touchpad. If Apple had the technology and priced it at the same price point it would likely sell millions of units.

Every WebOS product failed, not just the Touchpad. They all had Touchstones from day one. Didn't help one of them.

The Touchstone isn't really even a good idea. Most people don't want empty docks cluttering up their desks. It charges slowly and adds needless complexity to the charging process. It's a gimmick people - and not even a good one at that.

Oh I don't know. I liked the Touchstone. I certainly rather a little puck on my desk than a dangling cable. Perhaps it was just a gimmick but I used the heck out of it and really wish it (or something better) would come to other platforms.

But there's a dangling cable...attached to the puck! What is the material difference? I have a phone on my desk now charging as I type this. There's a cable going from it to the charger on the wall outlet on the floor.

A Touchstone wouldn't eliminate the cable and it would charge slower.

The cable is attached, not dangling. I didn't have to pick up a cable and insert it into my Pre. I simply placed the Pre on the puck. I'd love to be able to do that with my current device. Not enough to go back to webOS, but I'd love for that tech to spread to other platforms.

Also, I never said it eliminated the cable, I just don't like having dangling cables on my desk.

My situation is a bit extreme since, as a cross-platform mobile developer, I have an iPad, an iPod, an iPhone 4S, a Galaxy S, an EVO and some bluetooth items (including a bluetooth tag/barcode scanner) on my desk. So there are cables everywhere. But even away from my desk, I prefer to have something like the Touchstone that I can just sit my device on instead of fiddling with a cable. (I'd get a PowerMat short-term but I hate the bulky adaptor cases more than I hate dangling cables.)

Obviously, I'd rather have a charging system that does not require physical contact with my device (and one that won't mess with my internals, lol), but until we get there, I most certainly prefer something like a Touchstone which only require physical contact over a solution that requires "plugging in" like my iOS and Android devices do.

I don't get "dangling" as a sticking point. Generally, cables lay on the desk and run the length/width toward the wall or toward a USB port.

This would be the case if you had a Touchstone puck. Would be the case if you DIDN'T have a Touchstone puck. You're "saved" the strenuous step of plugging in a micro-USB cable (which actually is a pain on many Pre devices, but is no big deal on slab phones with easily accessible and rugged micro-USB ports).

The tradeoff is that charging is slower than even USB charging. I find having to wait for a full charge far more inconvenient than taking two seconds to plug in to a well-designed micro-USB port, so this is all really academic for me. But once TI gets 10W charging standard across all devices and wall power options start working wirelessly as well.....this is going to be awesome.

There is an entire cable-management market out there right now that exist because there are enough consumers that believe cables are troublesome to manage (i.e. they usually don't simply "lay on the desk and run towards the wall"). But that's not the point here.

This is just a situation where our preferences differ...and that's OK.

I LIKE not having to fiddle with cables. This is why I prefer the touchstone over other chargers that you must plug into. It's also one of the reasons I prefer bluetooth over a physical headphone jack. It's also why I prefer WiFi over wired connections (despite the fact that the wired connection is usually faster).

The thing is, you don't have to "get" dangling as a sticking point. It's a preference. For me, the ability to simply lay my device on a charger vs plugging it in IS something that "I" miss.

I agree that what may come about in the future may in fact be better. I look forward to it. However, that does not take away from the fact that for some (myself included) not having to "plug in" is a better, more seamless experience even with the limits that exist with today's technology.

How many cables does the Touchstone eliminate?

None as far as I can see. The same mismanaged cable cluttering your desk going to your phone would now be going to a Touchstone base.

Wi-Fi eliminates a CAT5 or CAT6 cable. Bluetooth eliminates a USB cable for data transfer or a audio cable for headsets.

Touchstones eliminate ZERO cables.

I get your laying on a charger vs. plugging in. I do. But do you acknowledge that you have to charge significantly slower to do that?

Again, the Touchstone does not "eliminate" any cables. What is does is "eliminate" my need to fiddle with cables every time I want to charge my device.

Wi-Fi eliminates my need to have to plug in a cable every time I need to access data. Bluetooth eliminates the need for me to plug in some headphones every time I want to listen to music. The Touchstone eliminated the need for me to plug in every time I needed to charge.

Again, my post is not about eliminating the cable itself. I've gone as far as acknowledging that I'm looking forward to future tech that will do that. What my posts have stated over and over is that things like the Touchstone eliminate my need to deal with (or manage, of fiddle with) cables.

And honestly, I found the charging to be fast enough. It was NOT "significantly" slower in my experience. (Although the Pre itself charged slower than my other devices regardless of whether I used the touchstone or direct USB connection). In fact, I think the specs released for the Pre back in '09 indicated that charging via the Touchstone and the USB port were about the same.

Now, would I still use it even if it were slower? Yes! As long as we're not talking something drastic. And it's for the same reason I use WiFi rather than plugging in (despite the fact that WiFi is slower most times). That reason can be summed up in a single word: Convenience.

Not to mention wear and tear on the ports.

Fair enough. I've had two phones since my Pre, and neither had a Micro USB port that went bad to wear and tear. Neither was a hassle to plug up either, but like I said....

...if your last micro-USB port experience was the shoddy Palm devices, it's no wonder Touchstone is such a relief.

I think the idea here is akin to a docking station for a laptop. Without it you need to plug in a monitor cable, mouse cable, keyboard cable, etc.

While with the TouchStone it is just one cable, I must admit my time with a Pre- this was one of the features that I miss the most. Just being able to set my Pre- on the puck and have it charge (had one at home on my nightstand and in the office on my desk).

You're right that it is not difficult or time consuming to plug in a micro usb cable, but its the simplicity of it all.

This.

wear & tear on uUSB port is a non issue, the standard requires it to withstand one million connection/disconnection cycles (assuming 10 connects a day, it should last ~274 years, theoretically)

However, it is just so much more convenient to just leave your phone on the TS, rather than fiddling with the cable. Believe me, it is. You should try yourself before commenting, you would be more credible.

Regarding the cables, my pucks are located the way, that cables are virtually NOT on the table. I prefer it that way, and if it was just a cable, it would fell off the table each time I unplug. Very convenient.

Third, it is a charger AND a stand. And a very elegant stand at that.

Four: integrated functionality of the Touchstones - automatic answer to a call when picking up the ringing phone, or automatically answering in the loudspeaker mode, when presing green button while on the charger. And now, the Exhibition mode. Nice and very handy things that you just use, automatically, without thinking about them, without unnecessary distractions.

I know your answers: No big deal + no big deal + no big deal + no big deal. Sure. I would do with traditional charging station (non-inductive, but contact-full one, with contact plates), if implemented the same way. Next, you ridicule the pricing of Touchstones - and rightly so, but again, you are confusing an elegant solution, with misplaced marketing & decision making. Glad you are finally getting there, regarding HPalm lame leadership, although I do not think you are fully aware of it yourself. Yet you are getting there.

Touchstone is just convenient, ergonomic and elegant. Just like most of other design details of webOS/Pre line. All these little details, that are working together in a harmony, designed beautifully and with the attention to little _usability_ details. To such a degree, that I am converting my Galaxy S2 to accept coil transplanted from one of my spare Pre- backs, bought in one of my three TOuchstone kits. And thinking about implanting another coil into my Nook Color, but that would be a bit more difficult, for I don't know if the magnets would be able to hold such a big device onto the puck. Granted, I will not have the integrated functionality, but contact-charging alone is worth it for me.

It is hard to convince someone who just don't get it, about the beauty and practicality of the Katana, if the hammer from the hardware store can kill as good as, just with a little more fuss & mess. But some people appreciate subtlety and sophistication.

And maybe, instead of spitting your hatred & venom around, maybe (just a teensy little maybe), try to listen to people who are actually using something, and have EXPERIENCED the elegance and convenience themselves? What is the worst possible outcome for you, you would perhaps learn something new? Or went through the day, without paternizing and ridiculing anyone with a different (and arguably, valid) opinion than yours? Is it such a terrifying thought?

To summarize all your ever-present tech-savvy, business-savvy & everything-savvy, but always mean and vicious comments, jerrydan-whatever-number, I have one answer for you: you are sick to your head, sir. And I am really sorry your mommy didn't loved you.

Well said.
Also I find myself more inclined to drop my phone on the Touchstone to charge throughout the day when I'm not using the phone, whereas when I don't have my touchstone around but I have the cable, I don't usually charge the phone unless I really need to. With the convenient touchstone solution, my phone is more likely to be topped up when the phone is idle. Same goes for having a Touchstone in the car.

It's funny. I've found myself in the same situation. I charge only when I "need" to. With the Pre, I charged because there was virtually no difference between laying my phone on my desk or laying it on my Touchstone. The only saving grace for me is that I need to charge less often with my current device compared to the Pre.

Another convenience is that you don't need to look at the USB connector orientation when plugging in. Not a big deal normally but I also have a Touchstone in my car. If my battery needs charging while I'm driving, I can place the phone on the charger without having to look for the cable, figure which end goes in and plug in. This would be much harder to do with just a micro-USB connector.

yep, just one of many "dont-think-about-it-just-do-it-automatically" elegant designs about the webOS/Pre line.

Some people just hate anything that is even remotely convenient, intuitive and ergonomic, and does not require your full attention to accomplish the simplest tasks, for some reason.

That is the whole point, you don't "wait" for the device to charge, you arrive at home or at your desk and instead of leave your phone on the table, you place it on the Touchstone and do what ever you have to do. When you go somewhere, you pick you phone and see the green 100% battery icon.
:-)

Right....because that's different than waiting for it to charge. In my experience, you plug it up, then unplug it fully powered an hour later, even if it was drained beforehand.

Sometimes we have to do "whatever we have to do" quickly.

You are clearly missing the point here jerrydan3, the point is, I am more likely to charge MY phone when I don't necessarily need to because it is easier to set down on a Touchstone than trying to find the cable that fell under my desk or is bundled with some other cables. The end results is the same for both charging methods, one is simply more convenient. Is that the case for everyone, probably not. Some of us find it more convenient.

BTW, I don't think the touchstone is "perfect". For one thing, it does not solve the problem of having to use the phone in a manner that requires physical interaction (like texting, emailing, non-speakerphone calling, etc.) while you are charging.

Still, I want this tech to be ported and improved because I find it useful.

For me the Touchstone is the best hardware characteristic of the whole WebOS ecosystem

My TouchstoneS have allowed me to forget about charging my phones and as a plus I ready enjoy my Exhibition apps

:-)

Curious why you link it to the Touchpad. Wasn't the Touchstone introduced with the original Pre back in 2009? Did it really fail because of a product that was introduced 2 years later?

Anyway, I really hope this TI version catches on because the Touchstone is the one thing I miss from the webOS "ecosystem".

My point was primarily in response to the comments that the touchstone was a failure due to its price of $80. I think the technology that allows you to pick up and use the phone or touchpad and then put it back to charge without having to plug and unplug is great. Even if the charge is slower, if you are at a desk all day the constant charge is great.
(I probably should have replied to the poster who made the price comment)

Ok, understood. I agree with you. I loved the Touchstone and I really want the competition to leverage it, improve upon it, make something better, whatever, just give me the option on other devices without the need for an inconvenient "adapter case".

I don't think it's fair to say the Touchstone itself was a failure. It simply wasn't successful because it was an optional device for a failed product.

Yup, I agree with your comment. Poorly worded on my part. I think the touchstone is a fantastic convenience and as I said above, if it were available for the Iphone/Ipad it would have tremendous success.

I just noticed that the article, here, about Astraware Solitaire neglects to give credit to Windows 95.

It's hilarious how snooty Derek is about other companies "getting up to speed" on this one mostly irrelevant webOS perk while there are HUGE app, accessory, and content ecosystem holes in WebOS that other platforms have enjoyed for years and would be exalted if they landed on this zombie OS.

How many threads are there on the forums right now squealing with delight over possibly being able to leech off of Android's app ecosystem now?

"How many threads are there on the forums right now squealing with delight over possibly being able to leech off of Android's app ecosystem now?"

...yeah, because that would be such a terrible development, if so happened, that we could run Android apps on our webOS devices! If something like Alien Dalvik made it miraculously onto webOS, it would eliminate the need to deal with the crappy Android OS for me for as long as my Pre3 lasts. I would be extremely happy camper, although not holding my breath to see this in real.

But how sick one has to be, to see this (tiny) possible opportunity from such a pervert angle?

You disgust me, sir. Why don't you just go somewhere and hang yourself, world would be a better place without you.

would be good if it were to be a good standard ...for instance, the micro usb connector standard admittedly does not fall out of the socket like the mini usb did, but rather it's tough as heck to get it plugged in there on lots of devices!! Further, if the induction dock TI wants to make is good it will need open source for the design so aftermarket can make new phone backs for old devices ...also, learn from palm/hp and make it have an inclination adjustment so the fone doesn't slide off all the time ...and further, make a bracket for the car !!

plug cable into phone. Charge it fast. Done. That's not so hard, is it? :)

on that i'd agree. my current phone barely needs to charge except when i'm in bed anyways.

Generally, no, it isn't. However, all of the plugging and unplugging takes a toll. Some people are happy to avoid that part of the process.

Love the tone of this article. This is the only thing webOS has anymore that the competition doesn't, it's about time something other than old beat up Pre's got inductive charging without a special case...

HP should sue.
.

Sue them for what? It is not unlawful to have the same idea. You can't protect an idea.

Correction, HP should be sued: http://www.gizmag.com/go/8191/

Note this is TWO years before the Pre was released.

Sigh...TouchStone and exhibition could have been so much more.

Personally, I think this is great!

As many have said already, the touchstone is one of the best features of the Palm/HP devices. When I received mine, I thought to myself "everything should have inductive charging" ;)

The fact that it is TI is who are picking up the baton means that many devices will be available with inductive charging and the docks could used between different makes of handsets, as long as they have the new TI boards.

IMO, I would rather a company like texas instruments apply the technology than the likes of some who would lay claims inventing it with their back dated patents and sueing everyone who even looks at it. ;)