Acquisition of patent by Apple might imply that users of the company’s devices can one day charge them without the use of cables or charging docks rather a purpose built in Wi-fi router is what is required.
Introduced on October 23, 2015 and made public by the US Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s patent application describes a system that uses the wireless signals emitted by routers to charge electronic devices.
Theoretically, the router would use dual polarisation and dual frequency antennas to physically locate devices, focus the signal there, and transfer power over a range of frequencies, including cellular (700 MHz to 2700 MHz), Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz to 5 GHz), and millimeter wave (10 GHz to 400 GHz).
No indication has benn provided by Apple has to whetherit is working on a router hat could provide both gigabit Wi-Fi and power at the same time. A year ago the company reportedly abandoned its AirPort routers,
which used beeam steering antennas similar to what’s detailed in the patent application.
The University of Washington in 2015, before aplle filing its patent application. The university had developed a way to broadcast power to remote devices using Wi-Fi. The university’s approach was to connect an antenna to a temperature sensor, place it near a Wi-Fi router, and measure the resulting voltages in the device and how long it can operate on this remote power source alone.
In the real sense, through the testing process, researchers found a problem: Wi-Fi broadcasts are not continuous. As explained in an article on MIT’s Technology Review, routers tend to broadcast in bursts and so when the broadcast stops, the voltages drop and the sensor does not have enough power to work consistently.
Disney Research created a method, dubbed “quasistatic cavity resonance”, that would enable rooms and cabinets to “generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained nearly anywhere within”.
Disney Resarch invented a method, dubbed ‘quasistatic cavity resonance’ that would enable rooms and cabinet to generate quasistatic magnetic fields that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile recievers contained nearly anywhere within. Companies such as Energous, uBeam, and WiTricity have also demonstrated wireless charging.
Apple itself has been investigating wireless charging methods for some time, with numerous other patents having been granted to the company over the years. In 2014, the company received approval for a method that involves using wireless near-field magnetic resonance to transmit power in a computing enviroment.
Long-range wireless charging isn’t a new concept and Apple has been working on different ways to achieve it for a number of years. It first filed a patent for a way to wirelessly recharge an iMac at a distance of one metre back in 2010.