Thursday April 27, 2017

Apple Investigating Wireless Charging via Wi-Fi Routers

Sadly, this patent merely "covers the theory" so it is hard to say if Apple can make this a reality, but it sure would be convenient if you could charge your electronics using just your Wi-Fi router. Such routers would rely on "dual polarization and dual frequency antennas" to extend charging range, so you could theoretically keep something charged regardless of where you walked in your house. We haven’t even mastered long-range internet via Wi-Fi yet, so I am not going to be optimistic here.

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Apple's invention deviates from contemporary technology in that incorporated wireless circuitry and supporting components handle both communications and power delivery. Current iterations, like Apple Watch's inductive charging hardware, are dedicated to power transfer only, and are limited to very short distances. Apple proposes a variety of techniques to extend that range. Along with dual mode circuitry, the claims recited in today's patent mention dual-polarization, dual-frequency patch antennas consistent with beam forming layouts. Patch antennas typically consist of a flat, rectangular resonating element placed over a larger metal ground plane structure. The flat antenna arrangement is ideal for mounting on flat surfaces, hence the term "patch."

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