Inductive Charging Phone Hack

This past winter, after much denial and upset, I knew that I finally had to say goodbye to Palm and WebOS. After HP dropped the OS as a product, apps started failing to work, and I was missing out on a bunch of apps and products that all my friends were communicating with, like Snapchat. Well, maybe I was better off without that one…bad example.

Anyways, I was very fortunate that a good friend of mine works for Samsung, and also enjoys partying with his phone. After dropping a Galaxy S4 he received from the company and breaking the screen so much so that it wouldn’t even light up, he gifted it to me. A trip to the Pacific Mall and $120 later, and I had a brand new unlocked phone. Sweet!


Yet, something was missing. When the Palm Pre came out in 2009, it had something that no other device had: inductive charging. (Known as the Palm Touchstone)

Basically if you are too lazy to watch the video, putting the phone on a magnetic (oooooo magnets and shit) dock charges the phone through electromagnetic currents (induction) without plugging in any wires.

Said Touchstone device

Said Touchstone device

Its 2014 now, and still no other company has really come up with this technology that has taken off (this may be because Palm filed a patent for it, and now doesn’t exist as a company, putting the rights for the device in some sort of technological limbo), and yet 5 years ago I was spoiled with such a nice feature.

After using it for so long, I felt as though I was going back in time with my new phone. Here I have a state of the art device, yet I no longer can charge it wirelessly.I know it seems like a ridiculous luxury, but the same can be said for the Mag-Safe connectors on Macbook chargers. Until you use them, you don’t realize how much better they are.

Luckily someone realized that the Galaxy s4 has pins on the back for their own inductive charger that never actually got made (again patent hell) and it used the same voltage as the Palm Touchstone.



So a hack was created so that you can simply glue a Touchstone part from the Palm phone to the back cover of the s4, and huzzah! Wireless charging goodness.


This wireless charging feature is especially useful in the car. Fishing for a charging cable on the floor while driving down the highway after you realized you forgot to plug your phone in and its about to die with your Google Maps Navigation your only solace for trying to find your way around some foreign city isn’t a particularly safe endevour. Yes, this happens to me on a regular basis.

Stay tuned for that as I will have to create a custom mount for it, and I am going to finally try my hand at using a 3D printer.



This entry was published on April 27, 2014 at 3:31 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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