Apple patents a 1-meter-range wireless charging system

June 15th, 2011 by Katie Gatto in Technology / Hi Tech & Innovation

(PhysOrg.com) -- According to a recently submitted patent application by Apple, wireless charging may be a whole new boost. That patent, which is entitled "Wireless power utilization in a local computing environment" is a system designed to exploit research in the area of mid range wireless power transfer physics. This means that the device listed in the patent is designed to use of a wireless near field magnetic resonance (NFMR) power transmission in order to power devices that are within the 1 meter range. Think wireless charging without having to be on a specialized charging mat.

While at this point no specific devices have been proposed by Apple based on this patent the prospects are tantalizing at best. The idea of being able to charge your or iPad simply by having it near your desktop or lap Mac is one that would appeal to many users who already have their USB ports occupied with peripheral devices instead of using it as a substitute for finding an outlet nearby. Since this could, in theory allow for charging anywhere at any time, it would represent a step up from the current generation of induction charging pads, since the charging pad itself needs to be plugged into an outlet in order to give your devices the juice that the need.

While nothing is definite at this point, this patent may explain why Apple has chosen not to create an inductive wireless charging device for iPods, iPhones, and iPads currently. Given Apple's tendency to take existing technology and turn it on its head, this would not be a completely out of left field.

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"Apple patents a 1-meter-range wireless charging system." June 15th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-06-apple-patents-meter-range-wireless.html