Why it matters to you
Apple may be looking to revolutionize wireless charging. The company has long been rumored to implement a new wireless charging technology into the next flagship iPhone — a wireless charging technology that does away with charging mats.
We don’t yet know exactly how the new technology will work, but Apple Insider uncovered a filed patent that could show us another piece to the puzzle. The filing describes a few ways that Apple experimented with wireless charging, but perhaps the most interesting is that a phone could draw power from a Wi-Fi router.
The router would essentially use dual polarization and dual frequency antennas, which could help offer a longer charging range — so eventually you could be able to walk around your house while your device is charging one day.
Of course, this is just a patent filing — there is no official word from Apple on whether or not the company is pursuing this type of technology, or if it is looking into other wireless charging techniques. It is also possible the rumors have been false all along and the iPhone will not end up with any wireless charging whatsoever.
Another part of the patent filing shows Apple using other cellular nodes and even signals from a satellite for charging — but the Wi-Fi router does seem to make the most sense.
Hopefully, Apple’s implementation will take the form of a little more than just a wireless charging mat. It is expected that we will see a total overhaul of how we handle charging in the next few years. Companies like Energous have demonstrated true wireless charging technologies, in which users can walk around the house while their device charges. Energous’ tech didn’t use a Wi-Fi router, but rather a series of stations that can beam energy from certain distances. For example, there is a short-distance option that’s intended for desktop use, and a long-distance base that can beam energy up to 15 feet.
We will have to wait and see if Apple’s tech is anything like Energous’ but rumors suggest Apple is partnering with Energous for the iPhone.