Apple Applies for Patent on Wireless iPad Charging via Smart Cover

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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).

At first blush, Apple's invention, aptly titled "Integrated inductive charging in protective cover," appears to simply be a first-party incarnation of upcoming products that use inductive charging to transfer power to an iOS device. These components usually incorporate an induction coil and transformer that outputs power via a cord plugged into the device's dock connector. Apple's patent filing describes something different.

Instead of sourcing power from a stationary dock, Apple's invention calls for a tablet case, or more specifically an iPad Smart Cover, to hold the inductive power transmitter. In some embodiments, an internal battery is disposed within the case, basically creating an "on-the-go" wireless charger.
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
 

flottenheimer

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2008
1,197
171
Up north
Nice.
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.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,184
679
Seems like a neat idea, but too complicated for something that Apple would implement.
 

jm001

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2011
595
123
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.
 

nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
7,287
5,502
The price would probably be ridiculous. But, I'll say around $79. However, I'll just stick to my lower price cases.
 

Radio

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2012
1,802
3
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?
 

dvoros

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2010
414
15
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:
 

Aidan5806

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2012
312
0
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?

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.
 

iGrip

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2010
1,626
0
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.

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!
 

Zunjine

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2009
715
0
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.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,009
2,589
Milwaukee Area
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.
 
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ghettochris

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2008
774
0
If only it could charge the ipad from the magnetic field of the earth or earth's rotation.

Nice.
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.

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:
 

thewinelake

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2008
26
0
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?
 

MonkeySee....

macrumors 68040
Sep 24, 2010
3,858
435
UK
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?

Wow, you know sooooooooo much about it already!!! you must work for Apple or something.
 

bb426

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2011
414
41
California
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?
 
M

Mr.damien

Guest
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.

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 ?
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,010
27,511
I wonder who this patent is assigned to at Apple?

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.
 
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