New Patent Describes Waterproof AirPods Case That Could Double as iPhone or Apple Watch Charger

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A new patent filed by Apple last year, and published recently by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, details a future iteration of the AirPods charging case that could simultaneously recharge the wireless headphones as well as an iPhone or Apple Watch. In the patent, Apple has visualized an AirPods case that, when placed flat on a surface, could turn into an Apple Watch charging pad thanks to a "wireless power transmitting component" (via Patently Apple).

    This would allow the AirPods case to double as a portable charging battery, providing power to both the AirPods internally and a separate device externally. The patent depicts multiple ways for the case to detect if an external device is ready to receive transmitted power, including an optical sensor, a mass sensor, or a mechanical interlock or button. When any of these methods are activated, the case would begin charging the external device, which also could include MacBooks.

    Image via Patently Apple

    Additionally, a future version of the AirPods case could have an entirely waterproof design, providing even further protection to the AirPods when they're placed within the charging case for long periods of time. Apple's patent depicts ways that the AirPods charging case could have simple water resistance, or could include a full waterproof seal that would be able to survive submersion up to 100 feet for 30 minutes.
    Wireless charging has been rumored for this year's upcoming iPhone 8, which is said to most likely use Apple's in-house wireless charging methods -- like the Apple Watch's inductive charging -- and not an extended-range solution. If the company integrated an inductive charging pad right onto the AirPods case, it would be an interesting mobile solution for users to juice up their Apple Watch or iPhone, but the amount of power that the AirPods charging case could hold remains unclear.

    Article Link: New Patent Describes Waterproof AirPods Case That Could Double as iPhone or Apple Watch Charger
  2. LCPepper macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Though the already seem to be unofficially waterproof:

  3. twinlight macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2016
    Will have to be a way bigger case than it is now to make place for a far bigger battery.
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    Only if it's ever intended to charge the phone (which is a silly notion to begin with). The watch has a 246 mAh battery, while the Airpods Case has 398. Each Airpod has a 98 mAh in it.

    That means using just the current battery (which they likely wouldn't) You could fully charge both AirPods from dead and still nearly fully charge the watch, all off one full AirPod case charge.
  5. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    I'm all for making products as water resistant as possible. The more the better.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2017 ---
    According to the article...
    Definitely require larger device.
  6. NT1440, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

    NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    "Which could include"

    So Apple is leaving the door open for a much more powerful range of charging accessories, but that description doesn't require it. That said, the logical first step would be a charger for the Watch itself seeing as it wouldn't require carrying around a mythical cable that doesn't exist currently.

    For context, all of their patents always include a long list of "could includes". Their liquid metal patents include car parts, but that doesn't mean it's currently in the pipeline. It's IP squatting really.
  7. lk400 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2012
    I could see this being implemented as a travel function. yiu could bring just one iPhone charger for your phone, AirPods and watch. Currently you need two.
  8. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I'll buy. Immediately!

    Even if it only passed power straight through from the lightning cable (plugged into the AirPods case) to the watch. No need to make the case bigger to hold a bigger battery.

    That, or just make a small watch charging "puck" with no cables attached and socket for standard lightning cable to attach.
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    That exists, I'm still mulling over if I want to buy one personally. Great keychain devices.
  10. gorkt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2007
  11. Avieshek, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

    Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
    So, iPhone 8 might come with Airpods shipped in the case?
  12. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    The Airpods are no where near waterproof. They don't even have a water resistance rating, regardless what this video shows. Some have had positive results when using the Airpods in the rain for example and others have experienced immediate failures with sweat or submersion by accident in the washing machine. There are so many variables, but Apple will likely improve the rating in the future.
  13. Bromeo macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2015
    Near Seattle
    I'd love to have bi-directional inductive charging: let me set the AirPods case on my charging puck for the Apple Watch. Conversely, allow charging Apple Watch by setting it on the AirPods case.

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