Hoping to get an edge over their competition, Apple Inc. is developing technology that will allow users to charge their phones via wireless routers.
The Cupertino-based tech giant has been granted a patent filing by the U.S. Patent and Trademark, according to documents publicly revealed on Thursday.
According to a recent report, the “Wireless Charging and Communication Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas” technology will make it possible for people to replenish the battery life of their devices using Wi-Fi.One of the many challenges of wireless charging is the limited range of Wi-Fi. But Apple suggested the use of dual mode circuitry and “dual-frequency patch antennas.” If the company manages to realize the dream, it can make use of Wi-Fi routers (both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) through a cellular frequency link somewhere between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz using a transmitter and receiver.
The concept of latching on to wireless routers to charge devices is not new, as small gadgets, like smartwatches for instance, have been proven to be charged using a Wi-Fi connection. However, this would be the first time that something as ambitious as charging a more powerful mobile phone is being pursued. It would also have greater impact on the future of charging devices, taking mobility to another level.
Apple already has existing technology in its AirPort Extreme routers that use “beamforming antennas” in order to scour and latch on to a signal. While AirPort promises to amplify the user’s internet speed, the technology itself can be used to search for nearby Wi-Fi networks to charge a cellular phone.
For now, Apple remains mum about its intentions regarding the patent, but chances are consumers can expect to see an overhaul in how we power our electronic devices in the coming years.