Apple have filed yet another patent to get fans excited. The catchily-named “Device orientation based docking functions” patent outlines the concept for a wireless charging pad, to be used in tandem with the iPhone (and presumably other iOS mobile devices).
The magic doesn’t stop there though. Not only would lying your iPhone down on the pad recharge it, but depending on how you lay it down it might perform extra functions too. “Docking functions such as charging, data transfer, data synchronization, diagnostic checking, or other functions may be selected, performed, or both, based on the physical orientation of the user device on the surface” says the patent.
In layman’s terms, if you place the phone one way you might just get a straight battery charge; place it another and it might also synchronise data with your nearby laptop – pretty futuristic stuff.
Wireless energy transfer has been the holy grail for electronics engineers for a while now, but only recently have we started to see it as a real possibility. The problem has always been the incredibly short distance between the charger and the target object required for electricity to be transmitted. However, a pad would serve as a more than adequate solution with regards to the mobile phone market, and you certainly wouldn’t bet against Apple making it look rather pretty (we’re presuming might look a little different to the diagram contained within the patent, which you can see above).
It is worth mentioning that technology patents like this are filed on a remarkably frequent basis, with very few ever going on to seeing the production line. This could be just a case of Apple essentially spitballing, covering all bases. However, if this is an endeavour which they choose to pursue then there’s no reason we shouldn’t think Apple are about to completely overhaul yet another area of the mobile market.