TouchStone Theories Confirmed read through the initial TouchStone theory post I put up and asked HP about my theories. As they posted in this article on the site, HP confirmed the identification to work as I assumed.

The new TouchStones will use the 3.1 MHz frequency to pass a unique key to the new WebOS phones, which will enable them to know where it is docked. You will obviously have to tell the phone where each dock is located the first time you use it. Derek did a great job translating my geek speak into general WebOS fan digestible content.

Only a few errors with the wording in the document. He refers to a coil for each frequency. I believe that both frequencies will use the same coil. It is resonant on both the communication frequency (3.1 MHz) and the charging frequency (118.5 KHz), so there is no reason to add extra hardware to the mix. This isn’t really important to the end user, but just trying to be technically correct.

Some have speculated that this 3.1 MHz frequency will allow the TouchStone to have a data USB cable. I don’t think this is possible. The data rate on a 3.1 MHz carrier is very low. The best that could be emulated is a old style serial connection (think phone line modem speeds). Nothing even close to the speed of even USB 1.0. It will most likely only be a method of establishing the connection via Bluetooth for major data transfer or for a stereo audio out functionality. Otherwise, it will just be used to exchange fairly short messages, like the URL example shown during the Feb. 9th event.