Two new patents granted to Apple further solidify the idea that in the future, users may be able to charge devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch using wireless charging integrated into a MacBook or iPad.
Wireless charging is an incredibly useful technology for providing power to devices without the need to plug a cable into a port. With the re-introduction of MagSafe in Apple’s ecosystem making wireless charging more efficient than ever for iPhone users, it makes sense that the tech giant is looking at ways to implement the same technology in more of its devices in other ways.
Apple patents reveal it is researching ways to wirelessly charge an iPhone or Apple Watch with an iPad or Mac
First spotted by Patently Apple, both the newly granted patents are titled ‘Inductive charging between electronic devices’. One of the patents shows a Mac charging an iPhone and Watch while the other shows an iPad charging an iPhone and Watch
In its patent application, Apple points out that while it is working on standardizing cables, – only the iPhone has yet to be transferred to USB-C – each device needs its own power supply, especially during travel.
‘Some electronic devices include one or more rechargeable batteries that may require external power to recharge. Often, these devices may be charged using a common or standardized electrical connector or cable. For example, some devices may be charged using a universal serial bus (USB) connector or cable. However, despite having standardized connectors and cable, each device may require a separate or dedicated power supply to charge. In some cases, having separate power supplies for each device may be burdensome to use, store, and/or transport.”
Patent diagrams reveal how a user might be able to charge their device simply by placing it on an inductive wireless charging “pad”, the tech giant may put these pads on either side of the touchpad on the MacBook.
The technology allows for the transmission of power through inductive coils over the surfaces of the devices. This technology is similar to the concept of Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare technology, although the Cupertino tech giant has been engaged in similar patents since 2016.
One thing to note is that this technology will not be restricted to an open Mac, as the diagrams also reveal devices charging on the top of a closed MacBook, as well as stacked on top of each other in a big pile containing a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.