Apple has a patent that describes an interesting way to wirelessly transmit charge between devices. A new patent application published by the USPTO details Apple’s plan to bring true wireless charging and it involves a coil that could transmit current bi-directionally.
One of the drawings accompanying the patent description shows a MacBook with multiple charging points that might act as a node for transmitting power between the MacBook and two or three other devices like an iPhone or an Apple Watch. In theory, Apple might be working on implementing same wireless charging coil on both an iPad as well as MacBook that could then transfer the charge to an iPhone X or an iPhone 8 with a depleted battery. One of the biggest takeaways here is that Apple does not sell an iPad or a MacBook with induction coils built-in for wireless charging.
If Apple does transition this patent into a working product then it would not only bring a new way to charge a depleted iPhone but also some form of truly wireless charging. One of the use cases for this technology could be to stack devices together and let them charge wirelessly. Depending on whether it is placed in the front or behind the other device, the device would either charge or be charged.
There are few unanswered questions including whether the devices should be stacked on the MacBook, since that would render the notebook unusable. However, the idea of plugging in just the MacBook to a wall outlet and then charge three devices in total sound intriguing, to say the least. It will be extremely useful when you travel abroad by eliminating the need to carry multiple different chargers.
It is, however, not immediately clear how Apple plans to get the wireless charging coil to switch between incoming and outgoing currents without them overheating. Apple was relatively late to adopt wireless charging and joined the Wireless Power Consortium only last year. The company added wireless charging to iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus announced in 2017.
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During the fall event last year, Apple also showcased a wireless charging mat called AirPower mat, which would allow users to charge three devices – iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods – at the same time. The company is yet to release the device and there are reports of Apple struggling to make the product. Now, this new patent shows that the iPhone maker has an even more serious wireless charging tech that could revolutionize charging in the future.