Your Next iPhone Or iPad Could Charge As Wirelessly As It Syncs

Your Next iPhone Or iPad Could Charge As Wirelessly As It Syncs

With iOS 5’s new Wireless Syncing functionality, the umbilical cord of your iPhone or iPad has finally dried up and fallen off… except when it needs power, when you have to plug it in to a wall socket.

But Apple’s serious about cutting the cord. Future iOS devices might be truly wireless, sucking in power as wirelessly as they will sync.

A new patent application spotted by Unwired View shows that Cupertino is planning on building near-field magnetic resolution (or NFMR) power supplies right into future iMac computers.

What do NFMR power supplies do? They’d make it possible for your iPhone or iPad to just slurp electricity out of the air to charge just by being in proximity of your Mac. Neat!

Of course, if Apple’s serious about cutting the cord of iOS devices, that goes from the figurative cord as well: Apple doesn’t want iPhones to be tethered to PCs anymore, even for powering. However, Apple could always sell NFMR chargers to plug into walls, as well as dongles for plugging into non-NFMR equipped computers.

Unfortunately, as neat as this tech is, and as much as I’d love to toss all of my old Dock Connectors into the trash, I think we’re a while aways from this technology seeing prime time. Still, who knows? Maybe the iPhone 5 or the iPad 3 will be the first iOS device to not even ship with a little white cord?

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  • tamu125

    If they are building NFMR into their iMacs i think this is more likely a solution for wireless keyboards, mice, trackpads, etc., which are nearly always on the desk near the computer.  And I think that will be simply marvelous way to easily cut out a few of the cords strangling my cluttered desk.

  • Feller

    I’m rather curious as to how they will play into automobiles as many people use radio transmitters or auxiliary plugs to their stereo systems. I’d hope there’d still be a way to plug in so that you could use the device to play music and charge at the same time while driving to work, trips, etc.

  • Felfac

    There is no wirelesss syncIng in IOS5 it has to be pluggled into to power quite near to your mac so if you have to plug it in as near as you do then why not just plug in the computer THERE IS NO WIRELESS SYNCING!!!

  • Vicente

    How does this differ from inductive charging?  Seems we already have a technology for this which Apple doesn’t put in their products.  I’ve been hoping at least Otterbox would add it to their cases but no dice so far.

  • Peter

    I wonder how energy efficient these charging methods are? I suspect there’s a fair amount of energy loss over a normal cable. 

  • RobPungello

    Because you can plug your iDevice into any outlet in your house – doesn’t have to be near your computer.

  • cheesy11

    now that would be awesome and make charging a heckuva lot easier

  • JShep4815

    Has the WHO decided NHMR causes cancer yet?

  • Wayne_Luke

    With Induction charging, your device has to sit on a magnetic pad to charge. Energy is dynamically transferred through the principles of static electricity.

    With this type of power transfer, the energy is beamed to the device in energy waves like microwaves. Not as powerful as the cooking device but powerful enough to get the molecules in the battery/capacitor excited.

  • Wayne_Luke

    Overall this fits in with Apple’s desire to make their devices thinner. Right now the ports on the devices are preventing them from becoming thinner.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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