Saturday, December 1, 2012

Could Apple have *Finally* Solved the Wireless Charging Scenario?

Apple Wireless Charging Patent.jpg
I know the graphic above looks complicated and… well it *is* complicated, but before your brain starts to emit small puffs of smoke, let me try to explain.
For years now we've been dealing with power issues for our devices.  We've all become addicted to our portable devices and whether it's a smart phone or a tablet, we *need* access to them almost all of the time.  Of course, the problem with that becomes battery life and trying to survive for as long as possible without plugging in.  As  you all know, I travel a lot and trust me when I say, you should see the demand for AC outlets in airports.  I actually travel with a Monster Powerstrip just so I can ask someone to share their outlet with me and we can both still have power.
Most of us are familiar with the process of inductive charging.  That is the science behind the Powermat and also things like the SoniCare Toothbrush.  Basically you put your device in contact with a charging system and power flows to the battery to charge it.  This is cool tech because it doesn't' require actually plugging in, but the problem is… it still requires a charger.  Add to the fact that your device has to actually be in physical contact with the charging system and it's cool tech, but still a tad clunky to use if you are on the go.
Now Apple has filed patents for a new type of system based on what is called "Near-Field Magnetic Resonance" or NFMR.  The idea is your phone or other device would have a NFMR resonator circuit located inside. This circuit would receive power from a nearby NFMR power supply that could provide power and charging inside of a 1 meter "bubble".
Basically the idea is that your laptop or some other device would house the NFMR power source and then whenever your rechargeable devices came within 1 meter of that power supply, charging would begin whenever you were within the "bubble" with no user intervention required.  Basically your phone & other devices would charge whenever you were close enough to the source.
A pretty cool idea if you ask me.  Anything that helps rid me of multiple charging devices is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

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