Apple has filed for yet another patent (number 10,396,578) that hints that, though it scrapped plans for the AirPower device, it’s still looking into a next generation wireless charging system. It’s for a wireless charging mat that wirelessly transmits power to an electronic device that is placed on the mat.
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, as Apple announced in March that work on the device was being canceled as, in Apple’s words, “will not achieve our high standards.”
The electronic device has a receiving coil and rectifier circuitry for receiving wireless alternating-current (AC) power from a coil in the wireless charging mat that is in the proximity of the receiving coil. The rectifier converts the received AC power into direct-current (DC) power.
Here’s a summary of the patent filing: “A wireless charging system may include a wireless power transmitting device that receives multiple wireless power receiving devices. A primary power receiving device that is used to display battery charge status information for other power receiving devices on the power transmitting device may be referred to as a hero device. The other wireless power receiving devices may be referred to as paired devices.
“When a paired device is added to a wireless power transmitting device where a hero device is already present, the hero device may verify that the paired device is on the same mat as the hero device. The hero device and paired device may then synchronously output a user notification. When a paired device is present on a wireless power transmitting device, the paired device may send battery charge status information to the wireless power transmitting device at predetermined intervals.”