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Upcoming Chromebooks Look to Feature Wireless Inductive Charging

September 17, 2014 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Chromebooks have been a huge success for Google, so it’s no surprise to see them pushing things that would be truly useful for such a light and mobile laptop.  Chromebooks have traditionally been lauded as the death of the netbook, and provide functionality similar to a netbook without the micro size and the Windows bloat, all while generally being light, thin and inexpensive.  The biggest problem for any mobile device is almost always the battery, and plugging it into a wall means that your mobile device is no longer really mobile after all once the battery gets low.  While this newest possible feature found in the Chromium source code won’t necessarily fix that problem, it could make charging your Chromebook considerably easier, and much more importantly gets rid of the cord that you would need to plug into your Chromebook.

We’re talking about wireless inductive charging here, and it’s something that many devices have done on the Android side for some time, most notably the Moto 360 smartwatch lately.  Wireless inductive charging works by placing the device on a pad of some sort that’s plugged in, meaning that you don’t have to fumble around with plugs yourself just to get the device charged, rather you just place it on the charging surface and you’re good to go.  This is more handy in some places over others, like say a coffee shop or cafe where inductive charging could be built into the tables so that you don’t always have to hunt for the table that’s next to an electrical outlet.

This source code snippet, found by Reddit user BASmith7, was added on August 25th and quite simply states “enable inductive charging on Ryu.”  No mincing words there, the Chrome team was testing wireless charging on a test board code named Ryu, and that means a future device for sure.  Other mentions for Ryu in the code also suggest that it’ll be powered by a Tegra chipset, most likely the Tegra K1 since that’s Nvidia’s latest.  This could end up being HP’s upcoming Chromebook for all we know, but time will tell.  Here’s hoping this becomes the Chromebook standard and not just in one or two models as it has on Android.