A new Apple patent recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark office outlines a new “realistic” wireless charging solution.
The patent, entitled “Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment”, describes a wireless charging system that relies on “near-field magnetic resonance” to provide power to nearby devices.
Wireless charging solutions traditionally need a a power source and a receiver located very close to one another in order to work. Think outlet, charging pad, then device. In the patent Apple mentions this limits the application of the charging solution to smaller less power-hungry devices. Apple’s solution would support devices requiring a few watts to a few hundred watts that are located within the near-field “virtual charging area.”
The patent claims the charging technology would eliminate “unwieldy” existing chargers that need to be plugged into the wall, and reduce clutter. The devices in the charging area would even cooperate to increase efficiency and reduce power consumption. The power supply transmitter could be portable (think dongle) or could be embedded in an existing device like a desktop or laptop.
Devices around the charging hub would ne to be tuned into the proper frequency in order for them to receive power from the near-field magnetic resonance power supply. Perhaps the coolest feature is Apple’s idea of a “re-resonator” that would allow multiple devices to share electricity wirelessly if one of the devices is too far from the base or is blocked by an obstacle.
Apple describes a scenario where a Mac desktop might not be able to provide power to a wireless mouse because of some interfering obstacle.
"In this case, (the) keyboard can act as a re-resonator such that a portion of the power delivered to (the) keyboard from the NFMR power supply can be passed on by way of a re-resonator transmission unit." — Patent Filing