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Patently Apple reports that the US Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent application today detailing two specific plans for an "Inductive Charging System" for iOS devices.
Inductive charging is a wireless method using the electromagnetic field to transfer energy over short distances between two objects. In theory, a charging station would send energy through inductive coupling to an electrical device which would store the energy in batteries.
The first Apple solution uses a Tolkien-esque charging tower. In this model a user would wrap their earphone cables around the tower and place a new conductive metal mesh earphone on their device to begin charging.
The second Apple solution uses an acoustic charging mechanism, and no tower of doom. In this system, an earphone is fitted into a recess in an acoustic charger. Then, a speaker within the acoustic charger produces an acoustic signal which causes a corresponding speaker in earphone to vibrate. These vibrations generate a current in earphone, and this current could be used to charge the battery of the attached device.
Patently Apple points out that, "Instead of creating separate inductive chargers for various media players and tablets as others have done, Apple is trying to create a single inductive charger that would fit the needs of multiple devices."
Sounds pretty cool to us.
(Images produced by Patently Apple)
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