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Apple Files Patent Application for Wireless Charging System for iOS Devices: Witricity to Go Live
Apple has recently filed a new patent application for wireless charging system that reveals Apple’s “realistic and practical approach” to power the devices wirelessly meaning allowing over-the-air like flow of electricity to charge low-power mobile devices within a distance of one meter.
We have already posted a couple of articles on a revolutionary technology called ‘Witricity’ which allows the flow of electricity without wires to charge mobile devices within a few meter. It is an obvious fact that Apple hates wires and wants to run its every iOS or even Mac device without wires. Its AirPlay and Over-the-Air (OTA) notifications and updates are the big examples in this concern. However, the company has been in search of a realistic and practical approach to a technology that allows the flow of electricity without wires to charge iOS devices and even Macs in next step. It seems now Apple has made a considerable advancement in this regard; recently Apple filed a new Patent Application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled “Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment,” that details a revolutionary Witricity like technology and reveals a technique for charging mobile devices wirelessly in about one meter on the basis of “near-field magnetic resonance-NFMR”.
Apple notes in its filing documents that transmitting electrical power wirelessly has historically been successful only in quite limited applications. Particularly, this kind of technology requires a power source and receiver both spotted at nearest distance to each other.
Notably, according to Apple, wireless power transfer technology is only applicable for the devices those require very small amount of electricity and it isn’t meant for devices those need a few watts to hundreds of watts to run. It means, the technology can be used for charging mobile devices wirelessly.
However, Apple acknowledges that electricity can be transferred wirelessly from a power source to a receiver within a “near field,” or in an area a few times larger than both objects involved in wireless transfer of electricity. In most of cases the near field is only a meter large.
“In this way, a realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring useable amounts of power over distances suitable for limited applications can be realized.”
Apple is going to adopt this wireless charging technology just to diminish or abolish “unwieldy” existing chargers that must be plugged into the wall.
Apple is however attempting something greater than the near field, and is working keenly to enhance the efficiency in transferring electricity wirelessly that would permit many devices to be charged wirelessly within the near field.
Apple’s future charging device would be able to supply electricity to a number of devices spotted within the near field, or “virtual charging area.”
The transmitter for power supply could be a stand-alone device, or it could be incorporated in an existing device such as a desktop or notebook computer. This transmitter could also be handy, like a dongle connected with a device through a USB like port.
The device to be charged wirelessly will be tuned to the proper frequency allowing it to receive power from the near-field magnetic resonance (or NFMR) power supply.
“The device being brought into the range of the NFMR power supply can communicate its initial presence using a standard communication protocol such as WiFi or Bluetooth. However, once incorporated into the resonance circuit, the device can use a communication back channel.”
Apple’s patent application also mentions a “re-resonator” allowing electric power to be wirelessly shared between multiple accessories. In one example, a Mac machine may not be capable to sufficiently supply power to a wireless mouse because of a barrier blocking the connection between the two devices.
“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.”
Apple’s recent patent application for a wireless charging system was first filed by the company in November of 2010.
Michael F. Culbert, Brett. C. Bilbrey, David I. Simon, and Peter M. Arnold have been provided as the inventors of wireless charging system for Apple.