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Apple granted patent for an AirPower-like device

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,714,983) for a “near-field microwave wireless power system” that sounds a lot like its promised AirPower device that never saw the light of day.

The AirPower was originally announced in September 2017 alongside the iPhone X. It was supposed to be able to charge a Qi-compatible iPhone, an Apple Watch, and a pair of AirPods (in a special wireless charging case) at the same time regardless of where they were placed on the pad. However, there was constant rumors of production, engineering, and manufacturing difficulties. Seems those rumors were right

However, in March 2019, Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, declared the project dead. “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project,” he said. “We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.”

Here’s the summary of the newly granted patent: “A wireless power system may use a wireless power transmitting device to transmit wireless power to a wireless power receiving device. The wireless power transmitting device may have microwave antennas that extend along an axis in a staggered arrangement. 

“In the staggered arrangement, the microwave antennas are positioned on alternating sides of the axis. Each microwave antenna is elongated along a dimension that is perpendicular to the axis. Multiple antennas may overlap a wireless power receiving antenna in the wireless power receiving device. Control circuitry may use oscillator and amplifier circuitry to provide antennas that have been overlapped by the wireless power receiving antenna with drive signals. The drive signals may be adjusted based on feedback from the wireless power receiving device to enhance power transmission efficiency. The system may have a wireless power transmitting device with inductive wireless power transmitting coils.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.