What Technology is Described in the Application?
According to Apple’s Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company has envisioned a system that relies on near-field magnetic resonance to provide power to devices kept nearby. Apple says this method is only acceptable for devices that require a very small amount of electricity and are kept within a “near field,” or at a distance of about a meter.
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“In this way, a realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring useable amounts of power over distances suitable for limited applications can be realized,” the filing reads, according to Apple Insider.
The setup would allow several peripheral devices to be charged simultaneously within the near field, or “virtual charging area,” including such low-power ones like a mouse or keyboard. The power supply transmitter could either be a portable standalone device or be embedded in a desktop or notebook computer. Apple said it hoped to minimize or eliminate “unwieldy” chargers that require to be plugged into the wall through this system.
How Could Does This Product Impact Apple?
While patent applications are by no means a confirmation of an upcoming product launch or improvement, they signal the direction in which the company is headed. Some had expected Apple to introduce wireless charging along with iPhone 5, and while that was not to be, the possibility of a future iteration of the phone including such a feature will excite watchers and investors.