A popular rumour regarding this year’s iPhone is that Apple could finally be introducing wireless charging. Many believe that Apple’s solution could offer up “true” wireless charging without the use of charging mats, like competitors have have implemented.
Now, according to a patent filed by Apple and reported by AppleInsider, the Cupertino company might be exploring yet another method of wireless charging.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published an Apple patent application describing a method by which users could charge their iPhones wirelessly with help from the Wi-Fi router in their homes. Instead of using a standard wireless charging pad or dock, power to one’s iPhone would be transferred over the air throughout one’s house.
“In its various embodiments, the invention notes power transfer capabilities over any suitable wireless communications link, including cellular between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz, and Wi-Fi operating at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz,” reads the report. “More specifically, the document’s claims apply to millimeter wave 802.11ad spectrum channels currently in use by the WiGig standard, which operates over the 60 GHz frequency band.”
In order for Apple’s iPhone to take those signals and convert them into energy, the company describes needing a transmitter and receiver that are both equipped with antennas to capture the router’s signal. The company would also need to boost wireless charging range by using a variety of technologies, including dual-mode circuitry and dual-frequency patch antennas.
Essentially, Apple is saying that wireless signals can be boosted and turned into energy, so users could be anywhere within range of their router and get a charge on their phone, essentially eliminating the need to plug into a wall outlet.
“Apple is expected to introduce some ilk of wireless charging technology in its forthcoming flagship iPhone, though communications frequency-based solutions like the one described in today’s invention are not thought to be part of the company’s plans for 2017,” concludes the report.