You’ll Charge Your Future iOS Devices Through The Earbuds

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Apple-inductive-charging-patent

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?