Apple patent wireless charging system with 1-meter range

Being able to charge our portable electronics without having to hook up yet another cable is a very good thing. At CES in 2010, RCA showed off the nifty Airnergy, which harvests power from the Wi-Fi signals bouncing around our homes and offices.  HP and Palm have gone the inductive route, offering up the cool TouchStone chargers for webOS phones — and now the HP TouchPad. likewise, Powermat offers its pad and receivers for most popular smartphones on the market. Heck, even toothbrush manufacturers think cordless charging is pretty darn cool.

One company that hasn’t gotten onboard the cord-free charging train yet is Apple, which is a little odd since it has a well-known distaste for excess cabling. With the arrival of iOS 5, you’ll no longer need to plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad in to your computer to transfer songs — Wi-Fi sync has finally been enabled. You will, however, still need to jam in a cord to charge the battery.

That may very well change with future Apple devices. Physorg has spotted a patent entitled “wireless power utilization in a local computing environment” from the gang in Cupertino which details a wireless charging system with a one-meter range. The system described is similar in concept to inductive charging mats and pads, but you wouldn’t have to rest a device on anything specific in order for Apple’s system to work — it only needs to be nearby.

A patent doesn’t mean that there are products on the way any time soon, but again — Apple hates cords. Maybe a retina display isn’t the only internal upgrade coming to the new iPad?

More at Physorg, WIPO

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply