So, yeah, like clipping the white 30-pin docking cable to the bottom of my iPad and iPhone is SO difficult. You kids these days have it easy. Back when I got my first iPhone, the docking cable had little freakin’ buttons you had to press on the sides just to disconnect it. Man, those were the days.
Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah. Patents. One specific patent, in particular.
Yesterday, Apple was granted patent No. 8,207,906. Also known as Antenna insert, it’s a patent that might lead to a technology that will let us iPhone owners charge our beloved devices via an inductive docking station. Pretty cool, right?
Said technology might likely involve charging circuits and an antenna that would boost any wireless signal for data transfers like backups, for example. All of this could happen wirelessly while your iPhone or iPad sits on a flat surface of some sort, obviating the need for wires to charge the devices.
The patent is for “Circuits, methods, and apparatus for adapters and docking stations that include one or more of the following: reradiating antennas to enhance wireless signal integrity, inductive charging circuits, and wireless or optical data links. The adapters may be inserts for use in a docking station, adapters for a cable connection, or other type of device. One example provides an adapter that includes a reradiating antenna. In other examples, passive coupling is used to charge a rechargeable battery in the handheld device. Other examples include wireless or optical circuits for faster data transmission.”
So, it’s a broad set of patented ideas that may or may not come to fruition, but it sure is fun to speculate. I’d love to walk into my house, set my iPhone on the counter, and know that it’s connected WiFi, backing up to my Mac in the other room, and charging itself just from sitting atop a countertop with the technology built into it. That would be a super future!