Apple Continues to File for Patent on Tablet Docking Station
Apple is still pushing for a patent on a tablet docking station that seems to be made for a tablet computer much larger than the iPhone and that would have an option for charging the device through either induction or metal contacts.
A 23-page filing was submitted back in February but has just been published. However, the filing consisted more of rough ideas and sketches than any definite plans. According to AppleInsider there are a handful of potential docking interfaces “ranging from cavity-oriented designs to those configured like an easel.”
The designs entailed more advanced features for orientations (such as landscape and portrait modes) as well as improved methods for transferring data and powering the device through the docking station. Also, the docking station is intended to provide a platform for the coupling of the tablet to multiple systems, such as a monitor, or keyboard, where owners would not have to separately connect the tablet to each of the peripherals.
Apple’s idea is that the two components could each sport planar surfaces, and rely exclusively on an inductance-based system for power and data transfers, or some sort of combination the inductance system and wireless technologies.
"With regards to non-contact platforms, inductive coils can be placed in each device to transfer both power and data. The inductive coils are typically hidden from view behind the housings of each device and therefore they are more aesthetically pleasing than electrical contacts, which need to be exposed in order to operate effectively. Furthermore, inductively based systems are more robust than electrical contacts. For example, there are no contacts to wear out and/or oxidize." Apple continued to say "In inductive based systems, the docking station includes the primary coil and the portable electronic device includes the secondary coil. In wireless systems, both the docking station and the portable electronic device include their own transceiver that both transmits and receives data."
The filing is reminiscent of similar filings done last year and is credited to Apple employees Steve Hotelling and Gus Pabon.
I know that Apple usually just files a lot patents for any and every new idea, no matter how feasible it is at the time, but this seems like it would be pretty awesome if they actually create something like this in the near future.
Source: AppleInsider | Apple pushing for patent on versatile tablet docking station