Is Google preparing a new Chromebook with wireless charging capabilities? A Chromium commit suggests that it could be a real possibility.
A code drop unearthed by Redditor basmith7 and dated August 25 came with a simple, straightforward description: ‘Enable inductive charging on Ryu.’
Ryu is the codename of a development board — i.e., an unannounced device — being worked on by Google/Chromium developers. The commit was tagged for ‘Sanity check only’ testing, a basic test that seeks to confirm that something works as intended.
What is Inductive Charging?
Inductive charging uses electromagnetic fields to transfer energy between devices, typically made up of a base station running on mains power and ‘receiver’ devices placed in close proximity, tuned to the same ‘resonant’ frequency as the base.
Wireless charging is the trend du jour in technology right now. Intel is banking big on wire-free power, as demonstrated on stage at its recent Developer Forum gathering. Apple Watch, the first wearable device from the Cupertino iFactory, also features inductive charging.
Inductive technologies have also featured in the Nexus line of Android devices from Google, with the likes of the Nexus 7 FHD and Nexus 5 being able to juice up off a compatible dock or charging mat.
Intel is pushing to bring cable-free computing to the mainstream by the end of 2015 — and that includes laptop charging. As part of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), a consortium developing and advocating for wireless charging technologies both at home and in public, they’re certainly well placed to talk timeframes, too.
Don’t be a live wire
Chromium developers are continually experimenting with new devices, features and technologies. Not all of these end up making it into the devices that grace the shelves of Walmart or clog up the bestsellers list on Amazon.
So while this code drop hawking inductive charging is far from concrete proof that it’ll ever see the light of day, the fact that it is being experimented with is an encouraging sign.
Other references in Ryu code suggest that it features a lid, a light bar, a Tegra chipset, reversible USB-C support and a regular AC/External power supply.