For the readers keeping abreast of the upcoming Palm Pre Smartphone to be released by Palm, you've probably heard of the Touchstone wireless charging device for the Palm Pre. At first I was pretty excited about it. I mean when you hear the word wireless, you assume that to mean no wires right?
Well apparently Palm doesn't see it the same way. First off the charger (which looks like a hockey puck) sits on your desk/table and requires the charger you would normally plug directly into your Palm Pre, to be plugged into the Touchstone charger. At that point you can just slap your phone on the Touchstone charger which will hold your phone in place using magnets. Oh, but not before you purchase the inductive back cover to replace your shiny black cover to allow for the inductive charging without scratching up your nice shiny back cover.
The idea is neat, I guess. I mean but how is this really any different from having a phone cradle? You know like the cordless phone cradle/dock/charging station? The only difference I see is magnets hold your phone to the actual base.
Also cordless phones tend to have the metal prongs on the base of the cradle and the phone. I still fail to see where all this “innovative”, “first wireless charger” stuff is coming from. Inductive charging is nothing new. It’s the same technology used to charge your electric toothbrush. The basic idea, is nothing new. So what’s all the hype about?
I will say that according to Palm the phone can be used while charging, and if the phone rings while on the base, it can answer in speakerphone mode automatically. And if you pick it up off the base while in speakerphone mode it will switch to handset mode. WOW! Now that’s innovation. Not!
So I told myself I would buy one when it came out. That’s when I was stupid enough to believe that this charger wouldn’t cost more than a typical charger. Boy was I wrong. They want $69.99 just so you can say “look what I can do, look what I can do”. There’s no real value other than the wow factor. It should also be noted that several sources across the web have stated inductive charging is 10-15% less efficient. Hey, but it still looks cool.