You’ll Charge Your Future iOS Devices Through The Earbuds



Apple’s intentions to introduce a wireless system to its iOS devices has been well documented over the past few months, but just exactly how it plans to do it remains to be seen. However, a new patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademarks Office today could reveal all.

Discovered by Patently Apple, Apple’s latest patent describes a wireless charging method not too dissimilar to that of the TouchStone dock from HP. However, rather than a dock, Apple’s device is a tower (that kind of looks like something you’d put your paper towels on in the kitchen) which you wrap your device’s earphone cables around the tower to create a “receiving coil,” and then placing “a new conductive metal mesh earphone on the media device to begin the charging process.”

9to5 Mac explains how the system works:

The oddly shaped charging tower taps the transformer unit to convert the voltage of the A/C power received from the wall socket, using the resulting voltage to drive the transmitting coil which is wrapped around a ferromagnetic core. This setup creates a varying magnetic flux in the ferromagnetic core. That magnetic flux could also propagate through air, meaning that (at least on paper) the charging station might function without a ferromagnetic core, opening door to wireless charging of iOS devices.

Apple also describes another method which would require you to place your earphones into a small “acoustic charger,” kind of like a dock for your earphones, to charge the device attached to the other end. Inside the acoustic charger is a speaker that uses a non-audible frequency range to create a vibration. This causes a transducer within the speaker to generate a current in the earphone conductors.

While I’ll commend Apple’s efforts to create a new method of charging, to me, this isn’t the “wireless charging” method I was hoping for. In fact, this isn’t wireless charging at all.

What do you think of this method for charging your iOS devices?

  • Vasco Costa

    So, no more using the earphones while playing games and charging?


  • Kyle Hill


  • BrianVoll

    That’s stupid. Just give us one of those charging boards that I-forgot-the-company-that-made-it made.

  • Cincotta_e

    this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Haroh Garcia

    kinda lame, What if you want to use your iPod while charging and the headset is wrapped around the charging mechanism.

  • Berian Lowe

    Why not just take the dock connector going into the tower, and plug that into the iDevice instead of wrapping the earbuds around it?

  • Ahmed Alkhuzae

    i can see another use for that stick in bed ROFL

  • saalokin

    cool story bro

  • MacGoo

    Buried in the mountain of lame that is most of this idea is one small grain of awesome: a new way to wirelessly charge. And that may be what Apple is trying to do: hide their true intentions in a mound of “meh”. Acoustic inductive charging has potential, although not by using the headphones as the receiver. The rest is utter nonsense.

  • Andy Murdock

    April Fools?

  • VotersRights

    I hope this never comes out because that is ridiculous. It’s far more complicated and cumbersome then the charging method now.

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  • daniel80mitchell

    What a load of rubbish! This goes against everything we have come to expect from Apple over the last few years.  Where is the simplicity? Also, how on Earth could this EVER be deemed a ‘wireless’ charging system?
    I certainly hope that this is some kind of joke, or clever diversion from a true Apple product?

  • Marcio Morgado

    Not sure if I’d put the cable that charges my iDevice into my ear……

  • Sam Parmenter

    Its getting pretty stupid now. Do all sites like this finally die a death due to a lack of actual information. So apple will instead of getting users to plug their device into a power supply nice and easily, get them to wrap their headphones round an impractical pole. Brilliant guys, just brilliant. Almost as good as your article about how apple is going to ditch OSX in favour of merging it with iOS.

    Do you not engage your brains at all before writing this crap ?

  • WorldsHotCake

    Wireless charging for iPhone

  • WorldsHotCake

    Wireless charging for iPhone