Apple Invents Wearable Battery Charging Module for Apple Watch

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    Apple is weighing up the possibility of developing a wearable battery module to charge an Apple Watch while it's being worn, according to a patent published on Thursday (via AppleInsider).

    Details of the invention were released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, under the title "Charging apparatus for wearable electronic device". The module uses an inductive element to transmit power to the smartwatch, similar to the one used in the existing Apple Watch magnetic charging cable.

    [​IMG]

    Two embodiments are described in the patent. The first shows the charger embedded in the wristband - an idea similar to previous inventions - while the second depicts a separate module that sits underneath the watch chassis and attaches to an existing band.

    The induction component in the portable module is capable of both transmitting and receiving power, and aligns itself with the smartwatch or an external charging source using magnets. Apple proposes the use of heat-dissipating circuitry to ensure the module is comfortable to wear against the skin, while various wired solutions are also described for charging the device itself when not in use.

    It's impossible to say whether the patent will see use in a future product, but Apple is clearly investigating various battery life solutions that don't sacrifice the thinness of the Series 2 design, which is already slightly thicker than the first generation. Improving the battery life of the next Apple Watch is also reportedly the "main task" of Quanta, the Taiwan-based company responsible for manufacturing the wearable.

    Extending the time between charges would allow users to wear their watch to sleep over consecutive days, which would give Apple the opportunity to introduce sleep tracking features into the next WatchOS, as well as potentially introduce resting heart-rate tracking - a primary indicator of overall health. Extended battery life could even potentially usher in a future Apple Watch with an always-on display.

    Article Link: Apple Invents Wearable Battery Charging Module for Apple Watch
     
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68010

    Pakaku

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    #2
    Because we need thinner laptops that compromise battery life, but something like this for a watch is perfectly fine
     
  3. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #3
    I know that these patent diagrams never reflect the actual design of a product but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention:

    Round watch face!
     
  4. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040

    Aluminum213

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    #4
    Already get 2 days easily, not trying to have bulkier watch
     
  5. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816

    lolkthxbai

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    #5
    That's not a patent for a product. That's a patent for the chargers they use on their demo watches.
     
  6. chr1s60 macrumors 68000

    chr1s60

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    #6
    Apple is taking watch bands to the next level and developing them for Samsung gear!
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #7
    This. 100% this. It already looks nearly identical to the one used in stores:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    #8
    This is all a little bit stupid. I just want a watch that can work long enough for a week's use. Not bits and pieces that add half a day longer. A watch that works at least a week, that's all I want.
     
  9. NeilHD macrumors regular

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    #9
    If this is for commercial sale, then it's solving the wrong problem and will remove the incentive for the engineers to get the battery to perform better, and the software to be more energy efficient.
     
  10. AppleWarMachine macrumors 65816

    AppleWarMachine

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    #10
    another add on (dongle)
    buy a slimmed down product...buy accessories to bulk it up to make it usable :eek:
     
  11. Peel macrumors 6502a

    Peel

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    #11
    If Apple actually releases the iPhone 8 with the rumored long-range wireless charging, it would be a shoe-in for inclusion in the next gen Apple Watch. A charger on your nightstand automatically charging your phone and watch all while you slept, with the watch never leaving your wrist would be the best scenario.
     
  12. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

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    #12
    You're right! Watch bands are the highest profit margin product they make, perhaps they'll shutter the rest of the company and just make Apple branded straps for every conceivable product, it's the next growth market.

    Also - Apple Campus 2 is some sort of solar powered circular band ... coincidence? I think not.
     
  13. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #13
    That's a nice thought, but long range wireless charging will likely not be here in 2017. I think at least another two years before that's congruent with the iPhone or Apple Watch.
     
  14. extricated macrumors 6502

    extricated

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    #14
    I agree upon a quick glance that it looks like the store display, but if you follow the link and read the patent, it is clearly a wearable.
     
  15. dfs macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Better idea: offer a Watch with a bracelet containing a couple of embedded photovoltaic cells on either side of the watch itself. This would make a permanent end to the battery life problem and obviate the need for an absurdly fat watch.
     
  16. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

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    #16
    I always wondered why Apple didn't use that Sieko technology Kinetic where you shake your wrist a while and it charges the internal battery? Would be perfect for the Nike Apple Watches.
     
  17. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #17
    you probably will never get one that lasts a week. but perhaps if they added some kind of kinetic charging you could go more than one day.
     
  18. Cloudkicker macrumors 6502

    Cloudkicker

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    #18
    A new "magical" feature adds '80s weight wristbands while you work out. "More heft, more huff." Whew!
     
  19. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #19
    Number one, I can only imagine the amount of research and development that would cost even consider something like this. Second, besides being years out in advance for something of what you're referring to, photovoltaic is solar powered for short. That said, that means The Watch would have to rely on light or a consistent basis of light to actually power the Apple Watch. Then you have to take in consideration of what kind of processor would be efficient enough to run the Apple Watch taken in consideration running of solar power. Personally, I don't ever see this happening. And if it were possible, which I'm not saying it's not, it would be years ahead of where it is now.
     
  20. smacrumon macrumors 68030

    smacrumon

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    Thanks! Someone who thinks about the possibilities! +100
     
  21. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816

    lolkthxbai

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    #21
    Yes but the purpose of the patent is to protect their technology used as store demo units. We have yet to see a band of this type released as an actual product except as store demo unit. Apple used to use a custom charger that was of a different style compared to the one that is used underneath their glass displays. The charging puck is thinner on the ceramic back of the watch and the power cable was integrated into band that disappeared into the demo unit. They stopped using them a while back and they included a iPad mini display. It's also not the first patent for a type of technology used in one of their stores. http://www.patentlyapple.com/patent...-in-store-display-fixture-for-the-iphone.html

    If it became a real product that would be pretty cool though.
     

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