Cupertino, Calif.-based tech titan has recently applied for a new patent for wireless charging system. The patent application, dubbed as Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment, shows that Apple is on the right track to developing a wireless charger that would literally replenish batteries of iPhone, iPad and iPod without the presence of an accessory or pad that serves as the main charger unit where devices are often attached with or set atop.
This patent makes use of an existing technology known as near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) that would allow any device with NFMR resonator circuits be charged provided they are within range of the source. Apparently, it offers convenience no other charger units offered before but there’s a catch; you have to buy a new iMac for it to work. And yes, it might not work with previous Apple devices. Nevertheless, this is another milestone for the company as it brings improvements to the current wireless charging system that was introduced a few years ago.
A magnetic field that will serve as a channel for wireless charging will be formed around the NFMR source. The patent application indicates devices up to 3 feet far from the source can have their batteries charged. While it may seem like a godsend technology, many experts found a problem in using it. Since it uses a strong magnetic field that could transmit electrons to be stored to a remote cell, it can damage anything that use a magnetic strip to store data like credit or debit cards.
Moreover, Apple may not be the first company to have conceived this wireless charging technology. WiPower, which was bought by Qualcomm, applied for a patent in 2008 similar to the patent the tech giant applied for.
“Apple’s wireless NFMR patent was filed in 2010 before the alliance was established, but tech startup WiPower, a member of the organization, applied for a patent on the same concept back in 2008,” The Register reported. It might be too early to say that but it might just spark another nasty legal battle in the future.
Nevertheless, the wireless charging system that Apple is developing now may just become the key to the realization of over-the-air battery charging.