The guys from Cupertino have been busy with patents lately, and today we have one more to report on. It appears that Apple has filed for a patent regarding wireless charging. Yes, a feature we enjoy in our Nexus 4, the new Nokia Lumia, and multiple other devices. Better hide those Nexus 4’s before it’s too late. The patent is based around wireless charging technology using magnetic resonance — something that’s been around for some time. More details after the break.
I can see the clouds already starting to appear over this patent, and hopefully it gets rained on before we see any lawsuits stem from this one. Apple’s patent application, number 20120303980, outlines its magnetic resonance charging technology. The difference here over what we already know and use today (like the Nexus 4) is their patent allows for truly wireless charging. Magic from as far as 1 meter away. Instead of placing the iDevice on the mat, it can just be near it.
Imagine charging your phone all night sitting on your bed, with no wires or setting it on a platform — Just sitting by your pillow. That’s where this is going. Sadly this technology isn’t anything new either. Even though Apple’s patent details a wireless technology that doesn’t require any form of contact, they aren’t the only company that has been working on wireless charging technology from a distance.
Apparently Apple filed for the patent in November of 2010, so this is certainly nothing new. Interestingly enough, a company called WiPower patented wireless charging as a whole back in 2008. So the difference here remains to be seen. WiPower was later acquired by Qualcomm and formed into The Alliance For Wireless Power along with multiple patents and intellectual property from Samsung. Wireless charging hasn’t really taken off as much as many thought. With Nokia offering it today, LG’s Nexus 4, and even the new HTC DROID DNA all having the capability, they all require a mat for charging. Being able to truly do this from 3.2 feet away from the charging system would be an awesome feature I’d love to have on my current smartphone and tablets.
This truly wireless charging technology is already available today in some forms, so it will be interesting to see more on Apple’s specific patent and if they have enough to gain approval.