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  • Apple Reportedly Tinkering With Inductive iDevice Charging Mechanism


    Innovation is the spirit that drives Apple, say the company's biggest fans. Well, if it's innovation you want, it will be innovation that you get - assuming, of course, that reports of a possible new iDevice charging mechanism ultimately come to pass.

    Based on details gleaned from a patent application surfacing publicly this week (via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), Apple has designs on a new inductive charging system. The patent in question is titled "Using an Audio Cable as an Inductive Charging Coil." The application outlines in general terms how the charging mechanism would work.

    In a nutshell, the process is defined as a technique that involves "winding an audio cable for the electronic device around a charging mechanism multiple times so that one or more conductors in the audio cable form an inductive receiving coil."

    Subsequently, a magnetic field is created through the charging mechanism to "induce a current in the inductive receiving coil." In the final step of the process, the induced current in the inductive receiving coil is used to charge a rechargeable battery for the electronic device.

    If eventually developed and put into practice, Apple would likely employ the mechanism for its iDevice line and use headphones to facilitate power and direct it back to the iPhone, iPod, or iPad being charged.

    Sources: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, FreePatentsOnline, Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Reportedly Tinkering With Inductive iDevice Charging Mechanism started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Michael Essany View Post

      Innovation is the spirit that drives Apple, say the company's biggest fans.
      Odd....I always thought profits and expansion was the spirit that drives Apple. Innovation is just part of what is required to obtain those.
    1. frejes32's Avatar
      frejes32 -
      So what are the benefits of this over just slapping your iDevice into a dock..?
    1. oddphone20's Avatar
      oddphone20 -
      Apple should just pay royalties to use touchstone. No charging cable and wifi sync(iOS 5) makes a physical port unneeded.
    1. fbiryujin's Avatar
      fbiryujin -
      Quote Originally Posted by frejes32 View Post
      So what are the benefits of this over just slapping your iDevice into a dock..?
      What he said!
    1. ismoothproject's Avatar
      ismoothproject -
      This is what I call SO not user friendly! Lol I'm trying to make my own case that charges kind of wirelessly. Making out of tin foil. 0.o :0
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I have some products that charge wirelessly. In fact, sonicare toothbrushes have been doing that for about 10 years. For something like a toothbrush, that's great. For something like a phone, I find it impractical, unless we start making charging pads everywhere.
    1. chansed's Avatar
      chansed -
      Wait, can't I just take "114 Power Cord" and plug it into my phone?
    1. forshetsandgigs's Avatar
      forshetsandgigs -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Odd....I always thought profits and expansion was the spirit that drives Apple. Innovation is just part of what is required to obtain those.
      so true haha

      and this idea sucks. who wants to wrap headphones around a tower multiple times everytime just to charge their phone. and you would have to use apple headphones which are rip-offs.
    1. Murdocthc's Avatar
      Murdocthc -
      Quote Originally Posted by chansed View Post
      Wait, can't I just take "114 Power Cord" and plug it into my phone?
      lol

      that's too easy. we need things to be more complicated.
    1. dz302's Avatar
      dz302 -
      Quote Originally Posted by frejes32 View Post
      So what are the benefits of this over just slapping your iDevice into a dock..?
      The image you see here is where the exploration in wireless power transfer was 6 months ago. There are several designs... in this diagram there is a small gap between the two coils, inductive charging is only one of 3 kinds of short-distance wireless energy transfer. The real attraction here "and my guess as to why the creative exploration is being channeled here by apple" is that charging times can be varied. You won't be wrapping your cords around anything as in the diagram. The technology is way beyond that point. Right now distances are at approximately 30 feet. What this means to you and why apple as many other firms researching this is simply for the potential energy draw and how it can generate huge profits with minimal investment. To put it in different terms look at the auto industry and the commitment to plugins. Think about it, instead of plugging in you simply pull in your parking place "wherever you are" and the batteries are charged versus plugging in. Plugging in has become antiquated by this dilemma. You plug in and someone unplugs it...think of the madness Wireless energy transfer fixes it all rather handily. We will know the time is near when we start hearing buzz and sound bites talking about RCLI Rapid Charging Lithium Ion batteries. Chargers will be the way of the Edsel by summer 2012. DO NOT invest in the 2 companies currently installing remote charging stations around the country right now...look at them kinda like the first VHS rental stores of old.
    1. jelly lover's Avatar
      jelly lover -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Odd....I always thought profits and expansion was the spirit that drives Apple. Innovation is just part of what is required to obtain those.
      couldn't have said it better myself haha
    1. Energizer's Avatar
      Energizer -
      I'm an official rep from Energizer and we agree - having charging pads everywhere is the goal! The World Power Consortium has created the Qi (chee) standard, which we offer in the Energizer Inductive Charger. Inductive charging is something we're likely to see built right into our infrastructure in the future, so don't be surprised if we enjoy charging stations built right into surfaces in tabletops, counters and cars. Engadget Primed: how wireless and inductive charging works -- Engadget