When Apple released the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, they were the first iPhones to include support for wireless charging. Of course, wireless charging is not wireless at all, but true wireless charging is on the way thanks to the likes of Energous which recently saw its wares pass muster with the FCC.
Now, Apple is also confirmed as working on similar technology after a patent application was spotted by the folks at PatentlyApple.
The patent relates to RF-based long range wireless charging, similar to that already worked on by the aforementioned Energous, and aims to fix the main pain points with such technology to this point. Namely, the amount of power delivered to devices lessens as they get further away from the emitter and that emitter is limited in how much power it can send in the first place thanks to safety considerations.
Apple plans to get around this by prioritizing the devices that require the power the most.
An online user account may be maintained on computing equipment in the system. The computing equipment may communicate with the electronic devices or power adapter over a communications network. The power adapter or other components in the system may gather information from the online account, from the electronic devices, and/or from the power adapter to use in identifying an optimum power transfer strategy for the power adapter to use in transferring power to each of the electronic devices. The optimum power transfer strategy may involve transmitting different amounts of power to different electronic devices.
The information that is used in identifying appropriate amounts of power to transmit to each of the electronic devices may include information such as user device charging priority settings, battery charge state information, device type information, usage history information, calendar information, and other information.
This could come in the form of a setting, perhaps allowing users to tell the charger to give power to an iPhone ahead of an iPad, or via software that would charge devices depending on their general usage patterns. No matter what, it’s important to remember that just like all of Apple’s patent applications, this does not necessarily mean we will see the technology ever make its way into production.
Let’s really hope it does, though!
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