We have heard multiple rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s forthcoming gadgets iPhone 6 and iWatch will have wireless charging capabilities. Even if the technology fails to make it to devices expected to be launched next month, they could appear in future Apple devices. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted the tech giant Patent No. 8,796,885.
Apple uses near-field magnetic resonance for wireless charging
The iPhone maker filed the patent in April 2012, and it was granted on Tuesday. During that two-yea period, Apple might have further improved its wireless charging technology. The patent describes charging peripherals wirelessly using near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR). Under the system, the main unit – such as a computer – will transmit trace amounts of electricity. Small pods inside the suitably configured devices receive this electricity.
This system could wirelessly charge any number of devices within a distance of one meter. It could one day replace the conventional batteries by constantly supplying power to devices. However, according to the filing, some issues such as too many devices available for charging could hamper the effectiveness. The main unit that transmits power using NFMR would be small enough to fit inside a desktop case.
Apple could also use this technology in laptops and tablets
The peripherals would contain small wireless power units the size of a standard AAA battery. The NFMR power supply isn’t restricted to just desktops. It could also be built into tablets and laptops. The power supply could take multiple forms for various devices, the filing said. Such a system would require only one power cable to be plugged into the main unit, which would transmit electricity to the peripherals. None of the peripherals would require replaceable batteries, cable connections or separate chargers.
Existing wireless charging technologies in smartphones such as the Powermat use inductive charging rather than NFMR. The require the smartphone to be in contact with the unit. Many other companies such as Energous Corporation are also working on wireless charging technologies that can charge devices at distances of up to four meters.