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Wireless Charging On the Droid Bionic? 81

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stop-gnawing-on-cables dept.
mahiskali writes "New documents pertaining to the ever-hyped and much-delayed Motorola Droid Bionic have surfaced on the FCC website. Perusing through the documents, I noticed a very interesting feature: an inductive charging coil (click 'Internal Photos'), built into the battery door housing. It seems Motorola may have some tricks up its sleeve yet--but will it be enough to beat out the competition (read: Samsung Galaxy S2, iPhone 5)?"
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Wireless Charging On the Droid Bionic?

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  • As I gaze over to the Palm Touchstone inductive charger on my desk that has been there almost 2 years, meh is the best i can muster.
    • by Geeky (90998)

      Although I loved my Pre, the only reason I got the Touchstone was the flap that covered the power connection on the phone - I figured it would break if I was charging every day, so switched to the Touchstone instead.

    • Even if you limit the class to Verizon 4G Android phones, this isn't new or unique. Inductive charging is already available for the HTC Thunderbolt and LG Revolution.
      • ...and the Samsung Droid Charge. The inductive charging back isn't included with the phones however.
    • by tacroy (813477)
      Yeah, i love me my touchstones. I have one at my office and one in my car. It's really hard to appreciate them until you use one. But it's pretty awesome, to sit in my car, place my phone on a little circle then have it hold there magnetically, while charging, and playing all my music wirelessly putting my gps right where I need it.. No wires! And it knows it's in my car so it opens pandora and gps automagically.
    • by Beorytis (1014777)
      How about the inductive charger on the Sonicare electric toothbrush 10+ years ago?
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @11:18AM (#37044414) Homepage

    Want to be on top again? DONT CRIPPLE THE DAMN PHONE!

    Make it run a clean google android, make it EASY to update with no nasty tricks to keep unauthorized OS installs off it. in fact ENCOURAGE unauthorized OS install by simply stating the warranty only covers the phone when used with a stock OS install.

    In other words... stop being jerks.

    • by morcego (260031)

      I have no complains about their hardware. Well, mostly. Their batteries need work.
      But man, their software sucks. My aging Motorola Milestone (that's the original Droid's GSM version) will out perform most of phone around now that I replaced the original OS with Cyanogenmod.

    • You may be surprised to find his out, but what you think a company should do to be successful, probably won't work. For example, you think motorola should make it easy to update with no nasty tricks to keep unauthorized OS installs off, but the majority of people don't care. For another example, you think they should stop being jerks, yet time and time again being jerks is what makes companies big and successful. The reality is that the way you think the world should be, is not how it is.

      • by jd2112 (1535857)

        Apple: jerks but make good proudcts. Successful.

        Samsung: not jerks, make good products (possibly not as good as Apple but still pretty good) Successful

        Motorola; Jerks, Make OK hardware sometimes but cripple it with DRM and sucky software. Getting lunch eaten by Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, and others.

        My guess that being jerks might be a contributing factor to Motorolla's failures but having sucky products (and having sucky software on the occasion when their hardware doesn't suck) is the main reason they are do

        • Samsung at least has unlocked boot loaders. The good news is Verizon doesn't seem to be forcing Bing search on everyone anymore. Motorola hasn't been doing too well in the Android arena despite the good start they had with the Milestone/Droid.
    • by esocid (946821)
      So, unlocked bootloaders?

      If it doesn't have that, I won't be getting it.
    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      Verizon is the bigger infringer IMHO - don't charge me twice for data. YTF should you care if I'm tethering?!
  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @11:27AM (#37044534)

    sounds cool but i have like 10 free outlets at work for my phones, ipad and whatever i carry these days to charge. and you can use USB ports on any server in the data center if you're working away from the office.

    this sounds like cool and gee whiz but not practical for a lot of people who will just say who cares and get an iphone

    • by danomac (1032160)

      and you can use USB ports on any server in the data center if you're working away from the office

      Maybe it's just me, but I don't plug *anything* USB into a live server unless it's a part of diagnostics. Doesn't matter if it's just to charge it, I've seen devices announce themselves incorrectly and cause a kernel panic. They make car chargers and the like for that purpose.

      • by wsxyz (543068)
        Wouldn't that be considered a problem with the operating system?
      • by alen (225700)

        strange that i've never seen this problem on proliant servers running windows 2003/2008. with my android phone i don't even have to mount it as a drive to get it to charge

      • Hack apart the cable/connector, and disconnect the data lines. Sometimes that stops the device charging altogether, though, since it's waiting perpetually for the host on the other end to negotiate a full load of five units, but can't, due to the data lines being cut. I solved this by taking a USB charger and cannibalizing the cable only to get the pin-five-shorted-to-ground connector.

    • Have you considered that the inductive coil won't be the only charging option? I guarantee USB charging will still work just fine.
    • I have an inductive charging toothbrush and I honestly can't wait until every single device uses this technology

      - The contacts will never wear out or corrode, since there are none
      - You don't have to futz with jamming in a tiny micro USB cable the right way
      - You can throw your phone on the charging mat in the absolute darkness
      - You can charge your and your wifes phone simultaneously with one charge pad

    • by Whippen (2018202)

      you can use USB ports on any server in the data center if you're working away from the office.

      Next /. headline - "IT worker arrested for attempting to steal company secrets. Claims he was only trying to 'charge' his phone."

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday August 10, 2011 @11:29AM (#37044570)

    Could some EE closer to the inductive charge community comment on:

    1) Are the chargers "smart" like if I drop my wedding ring on the charger does it heat up/melt or does the charger recognize the inductance / current draw is way outta whack and shut off? If it shuts off does an indicator of some type turn on, or does it just not charge?

    2) Frequency of operation? I would really hate to hear anything below, say, 30 KHz. Even at my age, just years ago when CRTs still roamed the earth, I found horiz sync whine to be astoundingly annoying. I would really hate to hear a 60 hz inductor, any tropical fish owner / diaphragm air pump owner knows the annoying drone of 60 hz + harmonics.

    3) Who can sell me an inductive receiver kit to power other stuff? I'm not talking about bolt and go, but ladyada / dangerousprototypes sort of places and products? Who makes this stuff, anyway? At a superficial glance the usual suspects in the analog power community don't seem to offer any specialized ICs for the task... unless the RX has no 2-way comm with the tx and literally is just any ole coil feeding a bridge rect and a switcher.

    4) I'm sadly picturing some kind of hideous DRM where the expensive charger and expensive device need to negotiate a RSA key across bluetooth to light up the charger... Please tell me it isn't so? A generation of interoperability would be awesome.

    • 1) Are the chargers "smart" like if I drop my wedding ring on the charger does it heat up/melt or does the charger recognize the inductance / current draw is way outta whack and shut off? If it shuts off does an indicator of some type turn on, or does it just not charge?

      Assuming they're using the qi charging standard, yes. There is quite a bit of handshaking required before the charger will fully energise a coil.

      3) Who can sell me an inductive receiver kit to power other stuff? I'm not talking about bolt and go, but ladyada / dangerousprototypes sort of places and products? Who makes this stuff, anyway? At a superficial glance the usual suspects in the analog power community don't seem to offer any specialized ICs for the task... unless the RX has no 2-way comm with the tx and literally is just any ole coil feeding a bridge rect and a switcher.

      Texas Instruments makes it. They also have a devkit:
      http://www.ti.com/ww/en/analog/wireless_power_solutions/index.shtml?DCMP=hpa_pmp_bq51013_en&HQS=Other+BA+bq51013-bnc [ti.com]

      4) I'm sadly picturing some kind of hideous DRM where the expensive charger and expensive device need to negotiate a RSA key across bluetooth to light up the charger... Please tell me it isn't so? A generation of interoperability would be awesome.

      The standard is available online. From memory there's no crypto-based DRM but you will need a license from the QI consortium to implement the technology

      • by vlm (69642)

        ooh cool. too bad the dev kit is $300 and the whole thing requires licenses. I suppose the license and its probably hideous fees is what prevents ladyada etc from offering a $20 kit.

  • Inductive charging suffers from efficiency problems (86% of power drawn is transmitted, as opposed to the 9x% of a DC/DC converter chip in wired chargers), but okay, it's no big deal. However, it doesn't offer practically any convenience over wired chargers: still fixed in place over the powermat, although you just have to pick it up and dash off, I'll grant them that.
    Inductive charging will be a valuable asset when a room, a house, or even a city can be blanketed with the required EM field, so that my pho

    • by vlm (69642)

      Inductive charging will be a valuable asset when a room, a house, or even a city can be blanketed with the required EM field,

      Grandiose. I'd be happy with a magic box under my work desk and bedroom dresser that turn the entire horizontal surface into a magic battery charger. Can't lose the charger if its bolted underneath my desk. Can't fumble for cables if there are no cables.

      Interoperability would be nice.. In ye olden days before microusb or whatever its called, every phone had a special connector and pinout to chain the users to the expensive aftermarket mfgrs. Theoretically an interoperable system would mean my friends wo

      • Okay, I was aiming a bit higher, so shoot me. :)
        The absolute minimum this starts to become useful is your vision. At the very least, I want the table surface, plus maybe ten centimeters above it to be charging. Anything like a 10 cm by 10 cm powermat, and we're back to square one with wired chargers.
        Ideal would be a citywide or even global field, that removes the need for batteries in the first place, but that would probably have all sorts of technical obstructions, like interference...

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          According to some others comments about this phone; the coil is possibly for magnetic inductance charging, not EM. What this means is, you could put a box in your bedroom and power the whole room.

  • That word does not mean what you think it means.

    The summary uses the phrase, "Perusing through the documents." First off, you don't "peruse through" a document; you simply "peruse" it. Secondly, the use of "through" implies that the author has used "peruse" as a substitute for "skim" -- because you can "skim through" documents -- and this is doubly wrong, because "peruse" has exactly the opposite meaning from "skim;" it means "to read through with thoroughness or care [reference.com]." You'd peruse a legal document. Yo

    • This is one of the best grammar corrections ive seen in a while. Hes not whining about your/you're etc but rather correctly pointing you dont color with pink and call it green.
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      I am certain that very few people will peruse your comment.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      It's so commonly misused that I avoid it altogether; even if I use it correctly, about half my readers will misunderstand me.

      I disagree that it is being misused, but I agree that it is useless. It has two meanings and two usages, and so it is useless except in a clear context. In the case of the summary - the use of "through" aside - it is not at all clear whether the submitter read the documents carefully or whether he skimmed them.

  • Inductive Charging has become the new standard for some time on most Verizon smart phones at the very least. It is already available for the Thunderbolt, Charge, and Droid 3 and others, so yes, I am sure it will be available for the Bionic as well.

  • Inductive charging is a good idea, but there are at least three [wirelesspo...ortium.com] competing [witricity.com] standards [hpwebos.com], which is why it isn't going anywhere. If the industry would settle on a standard and get business hotels to put a charging pad in hotel rooms, this mgiht get deployed.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Or if there were an inductive charging solution that worked if you put the phone next to a lamp cord...

  • Apple has proven that it is all about the software. They are killing with shiny but unremarkable hardware. They got killed on the desktop because of software, too. Apple ][ market perception was for games and schools but not business and the race was nearly over by the time the Mac came out, which also didn't look like a serious business machine. This time around, nobody is saying they have to have a Blackberry phone/pad because that's what they use at work.

    • by Coren22 (1625475)

      Funny, but I find the IOS quite limiting. Where are the weather widgets on the home screen? Why do I have to choose between an active application and a background one?

      • by burris (122191)

        nothing is perfect but it's going to take a lot more than inductive charging to kill the iphone

  • My toothbrush can do this and has been able to for quite a few years...
  • I hope I can hack into my neighbor power :)
  • The same idiots who drool over this will be the same idiots raving about the efficiency of their Prius.

    We need to find ways to conserve energy, not event new ways to introduce massive amounts of inefficiency into a system because we're too damn lazy to plug in a cord. This sort of crap is ridiculously wasteful and lest we not forget, we're ALREADY SHORT ON POWER transmission capability. We can barely get enough energy to your house to run your refrigerator, and you want to start using devices that waste m

  • Will this finally mean a decent (really) waterproof phone? The Motorola Defy was good, but it's not really waterproof (my brothers' needed to dry after being in the washing machine). Just fix the damn SIM cards so they do not need to be placed by customers and seal the complete phone shut. Full waterproofing, end of warranty if you open it.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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