Apple Possibly Working With Energous on Extended Range Wireless Charging for Future iPhones

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,688
11,006



Amid rumors that Apple is working on extended range wireless charging capabilities for future iPhones, there has been some speculation that Apple has partnered with Energous to implement the technology. Energous is the company behind WattUp, an emerging wireless charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away.

Though there's no concrete proof of a relationship between Energous and Apple, a new research report from Louis Basenese of Disruptive Tech Research highlights a large pool of circumstantial evidence pointing towards a potential partnership, so it's worth taking a look at Energous's technology, both in that context and as an example of the wireless charging techniques that are currently being pursued by tech companies.

Basenese posits Apple is working with a partner rather than developing an in-house solution due to the small number of patents the company has filed surrounding wireless charging -- just five, with none filed since 2013. As evidence that partner is Energous, he points towards their common manufacturing partners (TSMC and Foxconn), their membership in ANSI working towards standards for wireless power transfer compliance testing, and most notably, the fact that Energous's RF-based wireless charging system is the only long-distance solution nearly ready to launch.


In early 2015, Energous also inked a deal with an unnamed consumer electronics company, positioned as one of the top five companies in the world. Names weren't mentioned, but that's a short list -- Apple, Samsung, HP, Microsoft, and Hitachi. Basenese believes Apple is the likeliest partner by process of elimination.
From that list, we can easily eliminate HP and Hitachi, as they don't make phones. Since Samsung makes its own chips and WATT is working with TSM, we can cross it off the list, leaving only Apple and Microsoft. In reality, though, Microsoft is an also-ran in the mobile phone market and rumored to be exiting it. So we're left with one company. Of course, the identity will remain a mystery, as AAPL's notorious about insisting on secrecy with partners and employees.
Wireless charging capabilities have been implemented into several smartphones, including those from Apple's direct competitors, but Apple executives have downplayed wireless charging in the past due to its dependence on built-in chips, mats, and close proximity. In a 2012 interview, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said it wasn't clear "how much convenience" magnetic induction and resonance wireless charging systems offered because they still need to be plugged into the wall.


Click here to read rest of article...

Article Link: Apple Possibly Working With Energous on Extended Range Wireless Charging for Future iPhones
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrUNIMOG

1Zach1

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2008
1,204
740
Northern Va
It's mentioned in the article that it won't happen for the iPhone 7.
I know, there are really only two things I care to see in new iPhones: Wireless charging at a distance, smaller overall size of the phone. I don't believe I will see either of these for years, but there isn't much else that interests me in new phones.
 

tkermit

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2004
3,459
2,526
So how does this work? If it really "harvests" radio waves and converts it into DC, wouldn't the sender's power output be severely higher than that of other devices like routers and therefore potentially problematic for one's health?
 
  • Like
Reactions: CJM and Mactendo

diipii

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
618
550
UK



Amid rumors that Apple is working on extended range wireless charging capabilities for future iPhones, there has been some speculation that Apple has partnered with Energous to implement the technology. Energous is the company behind WattUp, an emerging wireless charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away.

Though there's no concrete proof of a relationship between Energous and Apple, a new research report from Louis Basenese of Disruptive Tech Research highlights a large pool of circumstantial evidence pointing towards a potential partnership, so it's worth taking a look at Energous's technology, both in that context and as an example of the wireless charging techniques that are currently being pursued by tech companies.

Basenese posits Apple is working with a partner rather than developing an in-house solution due to the small number of patents the company has filed surrounding wireless charging -- just five, with none filed since 2013. As evidence that partner is Energous, he points towards their common manufacturing partners (TSMC and Foxconn), their membership in ANSI working towards standards for wireless power transfer compliance testing, and most notably, the fact that Energous's RF-based wireless charging system is the only long-distance solution nearly ready to launch.


In early 2015, Energous also inked a deal with an unnamed consumer electronics company, positioned as one of the top five companies in the world. Names weren't mentioned, but that's a short list -- Apple, Samsung, HP, Microsoft, and Hitachi. Basenese believes Apple is the likeliest partner by process of elimination.Wireless charging capabilities have been implemented into several smartphones, including those from Apple's direct competitors, but Apple executives have downplayed wireless charging in the past due to its dependence on built-in chips, mats, and close proximity. In a 2012 interview, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said it wasn't clear "how much convenience" magnetic induction and resonance wireless charging systems offered because they still need to be plugged into the wall.


Click here to read rest of article...

Article Link: Apple Possibly Working With Energous on Extended Range Wireless Charging for Future iPhones
This makes me uneasy about health threats from radiation. I've had cancer once and it's no fun.
 

quietstormSD

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2010
1,024
327
San Diego, CA
I actually see this being more practical in the car, especially with bluetooth etc and charging something in the car would only require the technology having to charge something through a small range.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jason83

critter13

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2010
371
476
I really hope they go with witricity tech. it will be compatible with skyline processors.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,855
4,647
The only two things that I am sure in this life:
-Everybody is going to die one day.
-Samsung will copy.
I'm not so certain about the first one.

In fact, I'm pretty certain that more than 50% of people born after 1970 in the US will never die (or at least they'll die so far into the future there's no point worrying about death.) Other developed countries will have similar rates of people who could be considered immortal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrUNIMOG

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
4,764
28,700
Texas
I'm not so certain about the first one.

In fact, I'm pretty certain that more than 50% of people born after 1970 in the US will never die (or at least they'll die so far into the future there's no point worrying about death.) Other developed countries will have similar rates of people who could be considered immortal.
"God is dead, Marx is dead, and I'm not feeling that good..." (Woody Allen)
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
It's mentioned in the article that it won't happen for the iPhone 7.
Maybe not the 7, but certainly the 7S.

I actually see this being more practical in the car, especially with bluetooth etc and charging something in the car would only require the technology having to charge something through a small range.
It could also be practical at home, work, or any small room, like an Airport "charging lounge", or even an airplane, bus or train. And not just for phones, but also accessories, particularly BlueTooth headphones -- whether they are powered on or not.

Certainly this would solve a lot of complaints about needing to remember to charge your devices, especially headphones. Essentially they get charged whenever they are near a charging station. Starbucks would be an excellent location for this. In the very near future the only place a device wouldn't get powered is walking down the street, or camping in the woods.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.