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Google’s “Wireless Charging Orb” is a reinvigorated Palm Touchstone


What we have above is Palm’s famed “Touchstone” wireless charging dock from 2009, reinvigorated by Google in 2012. Unveiled today is the Nexus “Wireless Charging Orb” that will work on the upcoming Nexus 4.

The Orb looks like a 1/2 sphere, made of “soft-touch plastic,” and has the Nexus logo in the middle. The device specs are also limited, but design wise it looks strikingly similar to the Touchstone, plus operates the same way. To charge your device you’ll place the Nexus on the Orb, either in portrait or landscape mode, and it’ll automatically start charging. The display will have the ability to view the time, your pics or latest news.

The Orb is an optional accessory that currently has no clear launch date or pricing.

Source: The Verge

  • I’ll Ask Questions!

    Where were you for the Win8 event, Syrup?
    How much is Google paying you to ignore it?

    • 0defaced

      I’m sorry, you’re slow. Let me bring you up to speed….

      Microsoft still sucks.

  • Samuel Maskell

    @”Ill Ask Questions!”

    What do you expect them to cover from the WP8 event? Windows Phone 8 had already been announced months ago. The introduced nothing exciting today. Sure there were a couple minor features but nothing worth more than a short post. For that matter, there’s hardly anything different from WP7 besides the kernel change, which consumers really don’t care about.

    • Decoi

      Jessica Alba. Just kidding!

      Is it me or the orb looks like half of a Nexus Q? Well, maybe 70%.

  • Chuku

    So when will HP sue google for copying the palm touchstone? Oh wait…that’s only Apple.

  • Canuck

    Although it’s not a ground breaking innovation its more innovation than just stretching the screen length wise and calling it ground breaking…

  • CW

    I wonder if my Palm Touchstone that I have stashed away will work with it, or perhaps even fry it?

  • Tom

    I’m pretty impressed with Google’s strategy with the Nexus 4, but wireless charging seems bogus to me. What wrong with micro-USB charging – micro-USB is everywhere.

    • mehmeh

      Because, Wireless.

    • Marz

      It still has micro USB. In the box it only comes with a micro USB cable, it still can be charged through that. This is a neat optional addon.

    • ToniCipriani

      I have Touchstones for my Pre 3 everywhere… home, office and in the car. My car setup is my favourite. Put my car on the dock, hit the button on my Bluetooth audio adapter, start my car and go. No wires to fiddle around with.

      Would’ve been such an opportunity if audio was integrated into the Touchstone so audio gets connected moment my phone is put on the Touchstone. HP had one in the pipeline but thanks Leo…

  • tiesto

    They took the Nexus Q off the market and recycled them as wireless chargers.

  • I’ll Ask Questions!

    @Samuel Maskell I would hardly consider an official launch of a phone a minor event not worth mentioning. Both me and you know that a much more irrelevant stuff is being posted on Syrup daily, including today.

    I am not in a market for a Win8 Phone myself, but completely overlooking such an event makes me very suspiciaous, especially since the Google even was to take place today as well, before it got rescheduled.

    Why not even a peep out of Syrup? Did Google “purchase” a news day from them? :-/

    … not that there is anything particularly wrong with it – Syrup is a business. I am just wondering.

  • Noah

    how does it keep the phone from sliding down off the charger?

    • Brett

      Frickin’ Magnets!

  • DrBadass

    Google on a fire HELLZ YEA. The last monday of each october should be declared google day !!!!!

  • Brad F(anboy)

    I wonder if you’ll be able to put WebOS on there.

  • leobg

    Nice! Hopefully there will be wireless charging car dock coming too.

  • Is this Bb10?

    Will it cause cancer for anyone standing within 1 metre?

  • Vij

    The Touchstone is one of the things I miss most from my WebOS days. Don’t knock it until you try it! Now… if someone would just build a retrofit for my Gnex. With the Palm Pre it was just a swap of the battery cover…

    • ToniCipriani

      Already been done. Even been done for the S3. All you need is a spare back cover from a Pre, which are readily available on eBay or Amazon.

  • DJ ASSASSIN

    What’s the point of wireless charging if the pod has to be plugged in anyway.

    • Ahh-nold

      Plug it in (permanently), put it on your nightstand, and then just toss your phone on it when you go to bed every night. The point being convenience.

  • Matt

    Is this the new BB10??

    • Ahh-nold

      No, Matt, it is not.

      When was the last time you’ve tasted the lips of a woman? Think about that one. Don’t get all sad now, Matty… :(

    • B.W.

      No, this is not BB10 but it will be available before BB10.

  • Puzzled

    Is this only going to work on devices released after this? Because It would be cool if it worked for the GS3.

  • Kyle

    A phone needs to have the hardware to make this work – on the battery side, not just the ‘back’. If you look at the battery side of a Palm, or GS3, you’ll see two little contacts right next to the battery. That is where the wireless charging back cover passes the current from the inductive charger (in the cover) to the battery.

    That said, this could be used for the GS3 if Samsung ever gets around to making their wireless charging backs…. In the meantime, many people have hacked their old Palm touchstones and back covers to work with other phones….

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