Apple may still be working on an AirPower-like charging station

Apple may have canned plans for its AirPower wireless charging station, but that doesn’t mean the tech giant might not perfect and release something similar in the future. The company has been granted a patent (number 10,277,056) for a wireless charging station.

In the patent filing, Apple says that existing wireless charging systems have a number of disadvantages. For instance, wireless charging surfaces require a specific charging region disposed on top of a transmitter coil embedded beneath the surface. This requires the electronic device to be placed in a very specific area on the charging surface. If an electronic device is placed outside of the charging region, the electronic device may not wirelessly charge due to the absence of a magnetic field. 

Additionally, since single axis magnetic fields require transmitter and receiver coils to be disposed on parallel planes, the electronic device must be positioned in a particular orientation (e.g., with the back face of the device resting on the surface) in order for charging to occur. Apple thinks it can do better.

Here’s the summary of the patent:”A wireless charging system including a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is formed of a coil of wire that includes a first loop portion, a second loop portion, and a crossing portion. The crossing portion electrically couples the first loop portion and the second loop portion such that when current is generated in the coil, electrical current flows through the first loop portion in a different rotational direction than in the second loop portion. 

“The receiver is formed of a ferromagnetic core and multiple (e.g., three) coils disposed about the ferromagnetic core. Each coil may be disposed about a different axis of the core such that current may be induced in at least one of the coils by a magnetic field in any direction.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.