Apple Applies for Patent on Wireless iPad Charging via Smart Cover

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has applied for a patent for an interesting take on wireless charging, allowing a Smart Cover with embedded battery to recharge the iPad (discovered by AppleInsider).

    Wireless charging efficiency relies on close proximity between the transmitting and receiving induction coils. Apple's existing Smart Cover magnet system uses magnets with alternating polarities to ensure a precise alignment of cover to iPad, a pairing that would help optimize the charging system.

    The system would automatically charge the iPad when the cover is closed, with the cover itself being charged conventionally by plugging it into a power source via USB, although Apple notes that solar cells could also be incorporated into the cover.

    Apple has had a long-standing interest in various forms of wireless charging, but the technology has yet to make its way into the company's mobile devices. Just last week, a report suggested that Apple may be introducing wireless charging the iPhone as soon as this year, although it seems like a relatively unlikely addition for the iPhone 5S.

    Alongside last year's introduction of the new Lightning connector, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller downplayed the importance of wireless charging, although Apple executives have been known to dismiss certain features only to introduce them in future products.

    As ever, we note that Apple applies for patents on a significant number of ideas that never make it into production, but wireless charging is growing in popularity and it seems likely that Apple will introduce it at some point in the future.

    Article Link: Apple Applies for Patent on Wireless iPad Charging via Smart Cover
  2. macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2008
    Up north
    But what I'd much rather like is for Apples standard headphones/ear-plugs to become wireless. That would be a killer feature for me. I hate those tangling white wires.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2002
    Seems like a neat idea, but too complicated for something that Apple would implement.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010
  5. macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2011
    Now the solar panelled cover sounds quite interesting on top of being a battery that can also plug in. Or how about a case for the iPhone like a Mophie Air that has solar panels on the back. Interesting to see what Apples does with this patent in the end.
  6. macrumors 603


    Oct 5, 2008
    The price would probably be ridiculous. But, I'll say around $79. However, I'll just stick to my lower price cases.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Mar 5, 2012
    Central California
    How innovative!!!

    That would give me about 5 minutes more of battery life.

    Lol - damn cover wouldn't even stay on with that weight.

    Seriously this is the next big thing?
  8. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2010
    wireless charging

    Someday soon, I hope we all see an Apple Press Conference where the only person on stage is Phil Schiller eating his words for an hour and a half. What a bozo. Down plays wireless charging and larger screen smartphones.:confused:
  9. macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2012
    This poops all over the terrible keyboard Microsoft jammed on theirs. hopefully they'll implement this with the next iPad!
  10. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2012
    Actually if you look at the volume of the smart cover's space for battery cells, you could probably get at least a couple of hours out of a battery packed Smart Cover. And if they implement their capacitive LCD or solar Smart Cover patents, this could become one of the most functional cases ever.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2010
    If you were to leave your iPad in the baking direct sun for hours, today's solar panels would provide minutes of battery life. Woo Hoo!
  12. macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2012
    Manhattan, New York
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2009
    Wireless charging, in its current form, as an alternative to a charging dock is pretty poor. It's slow, takes up more room and won't allow you to easily use your device while charging like a standard cable does.

    But a separate battery that can inductively charge your device when attached... there's something interesting there.

    For me the wireless charging thing will only get interesting when I can charge a device while holding it as long as I'm within range of the charging station. Imagine your computer charging your keyboard and mouse or a small charging station plugged in behind your sofa charging your iPad as you sit there? This would be really game changing stuff. A mat you have to leave your device on? Not so much.
  14. ThunderSkunk, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    macrumors 68020


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    So it's simply an extended battery in a cover...

    Still having to plug & unplug and attach extra things to your device, this sidesteps the benefit of induction charging completely.

    If they're not going to do a simple charging pad, then the connector should at least be MagSafe.
    First no HD capability then..., Lightning really seems like an expertly executed, ill-fated misstep.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    If only it could charge the ipad from the magnetic field of the earth or earth's rotation.

    I hate sticking thing in my ears. if only they could conquer that obsticle.. maybe a T-shirt with super directional speakers on the shoulders or something. :cool:
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    I don't get it

    This sounds a bit odd to me.

    Why would one want to pack an inductive charger *with battery* into a cover? After all, you take the cover around with you. It might make some sense if the cover contained solar panels.

    So how do you charge the cover up?

    Mmmm, on second thoughts, the more useful thing might be if the cover acted a bit like a "reserve tank" or battery extender. When you charge the iPad, that drives the induction in reverse. But why use induction when you could probably have electrical contacts on the hinges?
  17. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2009
    Scranton, PA
    And everyone complains that Apple isn't innovating anymore! This is a neat idea! :apple:
  18. macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    Wow, you know sooooooooo much about it already!!! you must work for Apple or something.
  19. macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    I have a feeling this has to do with that one other patent they applied for... The Smart Cover as being the extra screen to display more information. I highly doubt that this damn Smart Cover would have enough power to power the iPad for 2 extra minutes. So instead of it being extra power for the iPad, why not have it be power to the Smart Cover itself?
  20. Guest

    What's your point ? I never saw a single iPad without a cover. Now this one give you more battery life for free, what's the problem ?

    you are kind of a guy that likes to complain right ?
  21. macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    Pretty sure you can get 10W panels which would give you ~50% or more charge for a few hours of full sun
  22. macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    I wonder who this patent is assigned to at Apple?
  23. macrumors 68020


    Nov 17, 2012
  24. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    From AI:

    "Apple's inductive charging cover patent was first filed for in September 2011 and credits Justin Richard Wodrich and Stephen Robert McClure as its inventors."

    According to LinkedIn McClure is an iPad product design manager who works with the ID team.
  25. macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Wanna be innovative? Incorporate solar cells into the display.

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