Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,228,209) for a “wireless power transfer system and method.” It’s yet another patent filling that hints that the tech giant is still considering an AirPower-like charging system.
The AirPower (pictured in an image released by Apple almost four years ago) 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 2018 that work on the device was being canceled as, in Apple’s words, “will not achieve our high standards.
About the patent
In the patent filing, Apple notes that contactless or wireless power transfer systems are a known area of both established and developing technology. Wireless power transfer systems can take a number of different forms. The particular form in the patent filing is, per Apple, application dependent. Inductive and capacitive power transfer are the most commonly known used power transfer methodologies.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: A wireless power transfer system comprising a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter arranged to generate a varying electric field, and the receiver located in the varying electric field. The receiver comprising a first element and a second element.
“The first element and the second element having different geometries so different charge densities are induced on the first element and the second element by the varying electric field such that, in use, a current flows between the first element and second element, through a load connected between the first element and second element.”