This is the first I ever witnessed it myself when a new smartphone is launched; an accessory as popular as the handset itself: the Touchstone™. For you who have not know it yet, (just in case you've been living in the jungle and got right back into the civilization right in time for the Prē™ launch day) the newly launched Palm Prē™ can be charged in two ways: an old fashion way with microUSB that comes along in the original box, or a new and cool way with the wireless charger Touchstone™ which is sold seperately at $70.
"This is just so cool because what was only possible in movies, is now possible in real-life for a mass consumer product. It’s always exciting when something considered 'geek' becomes 'chic'. Not only does this matter in the way a device is charged, but also for human behavior and cognition."
- The new Palm Touchstone wireless charger works on the principle of resonant induction. When you move a magnetic field near a coil of wire, it induces a current in the wire.
- Taking advantage of this principle, the Touchstone creates an electrical coupling between two coils of wire that are not physically connected. It does this with a primary coil of wire in the base unit which transmits energy to the secondary coil of wire in the phone via a magnetic field.
- The magnetic field generated by the base unit turns on and off rapidly, generating a magnetic pulse that is carefully tuned to the dimensions of the wire coil inside the phone. This oscillating magnetic field induces a current inside the phone, allowing the battery to be charged.
- Similar technology is used to transmit power to some battery-operated toothbrushes, razors, etc.
- This explanation is an oversimplification of a very specific field of electrical engineering.
- You'll note that the location of the induction coil is in the center of the device, well away from the antennas that line the perimeter of the phone.