As someone who has just transitioned to the revolutionary iPhone 5 after being one of the lone rangers at a technology company who had a phone that couldn’t even connect to the Internet that you had to slide to open, the only thing that I really don’t like about this nifty gadget is the fact that I feel like I am charging it constantly. Luckily, innovator Apple is already on the case and just filed a patent application that could lead to the development of a wireless charging offering.
The patent titled, “Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment," refers to a next generation system that would power "near-field magnetic resonance" in order to charge up your beloved smartphone or tablet. While a significant downer in regards to this solution could be the fact that if a power source and receiver aren’t near each other in close proximity it won’t work, Apple did highlight that that electricity can be transferred from a power source to a receiver within a "near field," what it describes as about a meter large.
"In this way, a realistic and practical approach to wireless transferring useable amounts of power over distances suitable for limited applications can be realized," according to the filing.
So what does the possibility of a wireless charger really mean to the end-user? For one, say goodbye to wall chargers once and forever. Have you ever had to wander your office searching for someone else with the same phone because you forgot your charger at home? Now, that can be just a distant memory.
Tony Rizzo, senior editor, TechZone360 told me, "The obvious missing thing on the iPhone 5 front is wireless charging. Nokia's upcoming Lumia 920 has wireless charging built into the phone but it requires a charging pad. I utterly fail to see the benefit here - it's really 'touch' charging. I'm happy with the wire - it takes up no real space, and I find it aesthetically unappealing (especially from a minimalist perspective) to have to deal with a space-hogging charging pad - which also requires being plugged into the wall! Where is the real convenience here exactly? Yes, it is a personal choice and subjective issue, but Apple agrees with our perspective. Apple may yet deliver such capability but only if users demand it. We doubt they will. True wireless charging is far more interesting - and again it appears Apple agrees with us."
In addition, the company is revealing that it is seeking to improve efficiency when it comes to transferring electricity wirelessly. A recent article on the Apple Insider website reveals, “It would also allow a number of peripheral devices to be charged wirelessly within the near field, thanks to cooperation between them.”
With the transmitter can be either a standalone device or placed within the device of your choice including desktops or PCs, it is even portable and can be integrated into USB ports. The “re-resonator" function allows electricity to be shared wirelessly between multiple devices as well.
"The device being brought into the range of the NFMR power supply can communicate its initial presence using a standard communication protocol such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth," the application adds. "However, once incorporated into the resonance circuit, the device can use a communication back channel."
For those annoyed Apple users out there sitting patiently waiting for their smartphone to charge, remain patient as your wish may soon be granted.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli