Last week Benzinga
published a piece
about the future of wireless charging. Nokia (NYSE:
) is one of the larger smartphone makers to adapt this
technology, but how long will it take for Samsung and Apple
) to follow suit? The answer could come today. Samsung is rumored
to announce that the Galaxy S IV will include wireless charging
when the device is
unveiled this evening
. At the same time,
has learned that the Mac maker has patented a new way to charge
the iPad by using a specially designed Smart Cover.
According to the report, the US Patent & Trademark Office
published the revealing patent application this morning.
"Apple states that the body portion includes an inductive
power transmitter arranged to wirelessly pass power to a
corresponding inductive power receiver unit disposed within the
iPad by inductively coupling, at least a first magnetic element,
and at least a second magnetic element used to secure the body
portion to the display in a closed configuration," Patently
Apple's Jack Purcher wrote. "In the closed configuration the
first magnetic element is detected by a sensor disposed within
the iPad, the detection altering a current operating state of the
However, sketches from the patent application show that the
Smart Cover could charge the iPad while the case is being used as
a stand to prop the device upward. This indicates a bit of
flexibility in the way consumers can use and charge the
It also makes it sound as if future Smart Covers will serve as
a second battery to the iPad. This could help Apple
double the iPad's battery life
, which was a rumored feature of the third-generation model.
In comparing the Smart Cover information with a former patent
filed by the iPhone maker, Patently Apple speculated that users
may one day use their iMac as the
ultimate charging hub
. Users could feasibly place their iDevices (and Smart Covers)
near an iMac to recharge their batteries.
That latter element could take years to produce. Wireless
technology is still in its infancy. Even as it evolves, there
will be many consumers who don't feel need to upgrade simply for
the benefits that wireless charging may provide.
The bigger innovation is likely to come from this Smart Cover
concept. While it might be a little cumbersome (what if users
don't want to attach the cover when the battery is low? Will they
still be able to plug it in the old-fashioned way?), it could
prove to be an invaluable accessory for iPad owners.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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