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Apple investigating inductive charging mat for docking portable devices - Page 2

post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

It is not only that Apple did not have the tech ready. No one has an inductive charging system with any practical value.

My inductively charged toothbrush (from over ten years ago, btw) begs to disagree...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


It goes beyond that. In addition to losing desk space, you have enormous energy losses. The best consumer products are something like 60% efficient and most are worse. When I calculated it a while back, that wasted electricity would essentially require one full scale GW power plant just to make up for the wasted energy.
It takes only an instant to plug in a Lightning connector. You don't really save any time, you waste space on your desk, and you waste energy. Plus, you have to add bulk and weight to your phone. I don't see it ever being standard for Apple products.

I tend to agree with most of your posts, but in this case the devil's in the details over time.  Today you're likely right - but with advances even just a few years down the road the variable values may change significantly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

The utility of taking up a lot of space on a desktop so that I don't have the plug in a Lightening connector to do the same thing?  Meh.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arlomedia View Post

I suppose this will come out right after I finally finish replacing all my 30-pin dock accessories with Lightning accessories.

Too true one imagines! (And it's also true Apple won't do this until it can be done without increasing their devices' famed thin and lightness).

However, one thing the article (and few posters) doesn't address is whether such a mat could be used for multiple devices simultaneously, e.g., your phone and tablet, or several family phones/tablets/iPods, etc.  (and if they were feeling ecumenical, or a third party could release one that could accommodate devices like cameras, hand-held gaming machines, etc., from other manufacturers) - in which case we'd be headed for simply doing away with a whole plethora of wires, docks, adapters, dongles, et al.


Edited by bigpics - 9/27/12 at 5:55pm

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post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

Some airports in Europe already offer charging loops integrated into the desks of cafe's. You just borrow a loop with your device's charging connector and presto!

I've seen this at least in Copenhagen, LHR and Helsinki

Sounds interesting. Does it work without adapters if your device has a built-in wireless charging coil? That would be ideal, provided the added weight and device thickness isn't too much.

Having to borrow (or rent?) and adapter has an unneeded amount of awkwardness when an AC jack plus a pocket charger is all that is needed. Last I traveled, I did not need to charge any of my electronic devices.
Edited by JeffDM - 9/27/12 at 2:21pm
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

I tend to agree with most of your posts, but in this case the devil's in the details over time.  Today you're likely right - but with advances even just a few years down the road the variable values may change significantly.

Realistically? Not likely. The loss of efficiency is controlled by physics. Radio waves from a point source dissipate uniformly and energy content falls off as the cube of distance. It is possible to focus the energy, but there's only so much you can do without having such a tiny area that it's difficult to get your device in the center of the focused beam. In theory, you could focus a beam on your desktop and then put a mark where the beam is focused, but if you're going to do that, it's even easier to just put the charger in that spot.

It's hard to imagine a scenario where remotely charging at the 10-20 foot distance that was suggested would be practical and useful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahonen View Post

Some airports in Europe already offer charging loops integrated into the desks of cafe's. You just borrow a loop with your device's charging connector and presto!

I've seen this at least in Copenhagen, LHR and Helsinki

Which means carrying an additional item and plugging something separate into the phone. If you're going to do that, you might as well carry the charger.
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post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

But did Nokia think of this at all much less first, are they doing it the same way etc.
For all you know, they actually licensed what they are doing from Apple.

Unlikely.

Nokia is using Qi standard for wireless charging, which is developed by Wireless Power Consortium formed back in 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi_%28wireless_power_standard%29

The WPC published the Qi low power specification in August 2009. Also Nokia joined WPC in 2009.

Without reading into details, I'd guess Apple is looking at somewhat different system. Unless they failed to realise there is existing system already, but it doesn't seem likely.
post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Unlikely.
Nokia is using Qi standard for wireless charging, which is developed by Wireless Power Consortium formed back in 2008.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qi_%28wireless_power_standard%29
The WPC published the Qi low power specification in August 2009. Also Nokia joined WPC in 2009.
Without reading into details, I'd guess Apple is looking at somewhat different system. Unless they failed to realise there is existing system already, but it doesn't seem likely.

As I read the description of this patent, there's no reason that it couldn't use the Qi standard. The gist of this application seems to be that you can charge your phone if you lay it down one way and sync it if you turn it over. I don't see that this would be incompatible with an existing standard, at least as far as the charging portion.
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post #46 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Step 1: Read a handful of nouns from opening paragraph on AI.
Step 2: Claim Apple doesn't innovate.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Ask mom to bring more HotPockets to your Command Center (aka bedroom).

 

Couldn't have said it better myself. Is there such thing as an honest troll? Nope. 

post #47 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

As I read the description of this patent, there's no reason that it couldn't use the Qi standard. The gist of this application seems to be that you can charge your phone if you lay it down one way and sync it if you turn it over. I don't see that this would be incompatible with an existing standard, at least as far as the charging portion.

True, it can be a bit different take on the same standard... but can you sync and charge at the same time? Because that would be preferred scenario for me, the way I'm charging (and playing music) from my 3Gs on Logitech speakerbox at present, only without fiddling with physical connection.

The way I understand, on new Lumia 920 you'll have to touch specific part of device with top of the phone to sync it (presuming that device is sync-able and not just a charger), and sync remains when you put it flat on charging pad. Actually sync remains within couple of meters, even if phone is not sitting on charging pad at all.
post #48 of 67

Thanks for the link. So given an iPhone costs 42 cents a year to charge conventionally WiTricity shouldn't be too bad for an iPhone.
Edited by digitalclips - 9/27/12 at 7:49pm
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post #49 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So given an iPhone costs 42 cents a year to charge conventionally WiTricity should be too bad for an iPhone what ever Jrargosta thinks eh! Lol

First, I'm not sure about that 42 cents figure, but even if it's correct, let's do the math. First, at a distance of 20 feet, the power would be well under 1% of the power up close (like the Wii remote chargers). Actually, probably less than 1% since the energy declines as the cube power of distance. So your $0.42 turns into $42. Now, multiply that by 100 M units - and you're talking about over $4 B in pure waste.

Note, too, that the methodology used to derive that $0.42 figure is wrong. They took the power draw of the iphone and multiplied it only by the time it takes to charge. That assumes that you immediately unplug the charger as soon as the phone is charged and then don't plug it in again until you start charging again (or it would be accurate if the charger drew 0 power when not charging but that's not realistic). Also, a wireless charger is sending out power constantly whether the phone is in the room or not, wasting even more energy.

This site says that the power to charge iPhones would power 54,000 households. If you multiply that by 100 due to a 1% efficiency, that's over 5 M households' worth of power - wasted because someone is too lazy to take the tenth of a second it takes to plug in an iPhone? And that's even using their unreasonable assumptions.

As for the Toyota situation, there are several differences:
First, the distance is much closer. You can have the charger within about 6 inches of the coils - not 20 feet as was proposed here. Second, you know where the car will be parked, so you can direct the beam - so the losses are much, much lower. Finally, handling a heavy charging cable and dealing with lethal amounts of electricity is different than plugging in an iPhone cable.

And note that Toyota hasn't been successful with that project yet, even with the above advantages.
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post #50 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So given an iPhone costs 42 cents a year to charge conventionally WiTricity should be too bad for an iPhone what ever Jrargosta thinks eh! Lol

First, I'm not sure about that 42 cents figure, but even if it's correct, let's do the math. First, at a distance of 20 feet, the power would be well under 1% of the power up close (like the Wii remote chargers). Actually, probably less than 1% since the energy declines as the cube power of distance. So your $0.42 turns into $42. Now, multiply that by 100 M units - and you're talking about over $4 B in pure waste.

Note, too, that the methodology used to derive that $0.42 figure is wrong. They took the power draw of the iphone and multiplied it only by the time it takes to charge. That assumes that you immediately unplug the charger as soon as the phone is charged and then don't plug it in again until you start charging again (or it would be accurate if the charger drew 0 power when not charging but that's not realistic). Also, a wireless charger is sending out power constantly whether the phone is in the room or not, wasting even more energy.

This site says that the power to charge iPhones would power 54,000 households. If you multiply that by 100 due to a 1% efficiency, that's over 5 M households' worth of power - wasted because someone is too lazy to take the tenth of a second it takes to plug in an iPhone? And that's even using their unreasonable assumptions.

As for the Toyota situation, there are several differences:
First, the distance is much closer. You can have the charger within about 6 inches of the coils - not 20 feet as was proposed here. Second, you know where the car will be parked, so you can direct the beam - so the losses are much, much lower. Finally, handling a heavy charging cable and dealing with lethal amounts of electricity is different than plugging in an iPhone cable.

And note that Toyota hasn't been successful with that project yet, even with the above advantages.

 

Your argument is correct for radiated EM wave antenna coupling, since once the energy is radiated it is gone whether anything receives it or not, but much better efficiency is achievable with simple inductive coupling, such as Toyota is suggesting, since the energy transfer is not radiative - an alternating magnetic field but no alternating electric field. But - if we are talking about distances of 20ft, then inductive coupling to objects the size of a phone does not seem practical.

post #51 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaelian View Post

Sometimes I feel like I can predict Apple's patents.

Apple has lots of patents that they never utilize but that doesn't mean they don't research potential technologies. Often there are great technologies that simply can't be used for aroids other reasons. Inductive charging for the iPhone might be one of them.

How would having an externally placed metal antenna and metal backing/frame affect charging and reception? Could it short out and damage components? They could use an adaptive charging pad that would sense the placement of the device first which could preent this and potentially make the power exchange more efficient. Per your linked comment I doubt that would remove the metal and add some nubs for charging.

Personally, I see this being used for something besides the iPhone.

 

The antennas are low inductance and tuned to E fields in the GHz range, while the inductive charging components would be high-inductance, low-frequency. I think there would be negligible interaction between those circuits.

post #52 of 67

Looking at the comments, I see there seems to be a lot of ignorance among people about how companies go about filing patents. I work in the software-telecom industry and myself have a couple of patents in the pipeline. Usually, employees of the company are given some perks for coming up with a patentable idea (typically anywhere between $500-$1000 per patent). Every month or so the patent attorneys and a group of experts scrutinize the applications, and decide to file patents on anything that they find is sufficiently unique (i.e. not obvious to an expert in that area) and is in the general domain of where the company operates. Sometimes the ideas are results of the employees working on a related project, at other times it is just out of thin air. 

 

So, a published patent really means nothing as far as implementation goes. Infact, from my experience only about 25% of published patents are also implemented in some manner.

post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


Sounds interesting. Does it work without adapters if your device has a built-in wireless charging coil? That would be ideal, provided the added weight and device thickness isn't too much.
Having to borrow (or rent?) and adapter has an unneeded amount of awkwardness when an AC jack plus a pocket charger is all that is needed. Last I traveled, I did not need to charge any of my electronic devices.

 

It does. They will be Qi compatible next quarter.


Edited by jahonen - 9/27/12 at 10:48pm
post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Which means carrying an additional item and plugging something separate into the phone. If you're going to do that, you might as well carry the charger.

 

Why such a negative stance? It limits your area of vision. If you had an open stance you would have noticed "You just borrow a loop with your device's charging connector and presto!" You see, it's loaned for free with your coffee. You don't have to carry anything with you.

 

For more data: http://powerkiss.com. This is the one being spread around in airports in Europe. Latest seems to be Lyon. "We are now in 26 airports in 60+ cafes restaurants & lounges."

 

It also means that it is going to be more than likely that when the tech becomes more commonplace and standardized, cafe's etc. will have charging loops integrated into the desks.

 

 


Edited by jahonen - 9/27/12 at 10:48pm
post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

The way I understand, on new Lumia 920 you'll have to touch specific part of device with top of the phone to sync it (presuming that device is sync-able and not just a charger), and sync remains when you put it flat on charging pad. Actually sync remains within couple of meters, even if phone is not sitting on charging pad at all.

 

That's because they are using NFC for pairing. Apple seems to be thinking of something on the lines of wireless charging + airplay/wifi itunes sync. Meaning the mat will likely do nothing for the sync, only charging and the sync is an independent event based on the devices orientation. 

post #56 of 67
We'll need multiple charging pads:

1) Bedside.

2) Home desk.

3) Work desk.

4) Kitchen?

I think a way to use wireless signals to charge is the way forward, as per Tesla's research. Or if that is unsafe or inefficient, perhaps a way to use eye safe lasers to beam energy to a spot on a device.

Convenience sells, inconvenience and over expense puts people off.
post #57 of 67
I think that is a real good example for Apple's patent filings:

- Inductive Charging: Invented and put to products by others before, used in many and low-tech low-cost products like electric toothbrushes

- control via device orientation: Invented and put to products by others before,e.g. game controllers and my old Samsung Wave Phone for silencing the alarm and switchin on the speakerphone

Put both together with a vague idea behind it and gee you have a cause you can sue others that have the same trivial idea without having to go through the expensive and cumbersome process of making true inventions.

And while any clear thinking man must recognise the insanity of backing this legally, the adepts will praise apple's innovation when the iPhone 6 will have it approx. a year later than Nokia. But probably this will not hinder Apple from sueing them in the end.
post #58 of 67
Quote:

Originally Posted by iamnemani

 

Looking at the comments, I see there seems to be a lot of ignorance among people about how companies go about filing patents. I work in the software-telecom industry and myself have a couple of patents in the pipeline. Usually, employees of the company are given some perks for coming up with a patentable idea (typically anywhere between $500-$1000 per patent). Every month or so the patent attorneys and a group of experts scrutinize the applications, and decide to file patents on anything that they find is sufficiently unique (i.e. not obvious to an expert in that area) and is in the general domain of where the company operates. Sometimes the ideas are results of the employees working on a related project, at other times it is just out of thin air. 

 

So, a published patent really means nothing as far as implementation goes. Infact, from my experience only about 25% of published patents are also implemented in some manner.

 

 

Problem is, there is nothing unique in that patent filing, nor is in min. 90 % of all the other patent filings that are made nowadays in IT industry, not to speak of true innovation which is definitely more than simple unique trivialities like using the picture of a wastebin as icon for deleting files or the picture of a CD together with two quarter notes as icon for the music player...


Edited by hdn777 - 9/28/12 at 9:49am
post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

Following in Nokia's footsteps with the 820 and 920 phones coming in November. Surprise, surprise.

Nokia is following in the footsteps of my Braun toothbrush from 20 years ago.

post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

First, I'm not sure about that 42 cents figure, but even if it's correct, let's do the math. First, at a distance of 20 feet, the power would be well under 1% of the power up close (like the Wii remote chargers). Actually, probably less than 1% since the energy declines as the cube power of distance. So your $0.42 turns into $42. Now, multiply that by 100 M units - and you're talking about over $4 B in pure waste.
Note, too, that the methodology used to derive that $0.42 figure is wrong. They took the power draw of the iphone and multiplied it only by the time it takes to charge. That assumes that you immediately unplug the charger as soon as the phone is charged and then don't plug it in again until you start charging again (or it would be accurate if the charger drew 0 power when not charging but that's not realistic). Also, a wireless charger is sending out power constantly whether the phone is in the room or not, wasting even more energy.
This site says that the power to charge iPhones would power 54,000 households. If you multiply that by 100 due to a 1% efficiency, that's over 5 M households' worth of power - wasted because someone is too lazy to take the tenth of a second it takes to plug in an iPhone? And that's even using their unreasonable assumptions.
As for the Toyota situation, there are several differences:
First, the distance is much closer. You can have the charger within about 6 inches of the coils - not 20 feet as was proposed here. Second, you know where the car will be parked, so you can direct the beam - so the losses are much, much lower. Finally, handling a heavy charging cable and dealing with lethal amounts of electricity is different than plugging in an iPhone cable.
And note that Toyota hasn't been successful with that project yet, even with the above advantages.

Color me optimistic. I think the MIT technology will within the next decade be standard for charging low powered items such as iPhones and iPads. Of course the distance will be short but the same room will suffice.
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post #61 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaelian View Post

Sometimes I feel like I can predict Apple's patents.

Yeah, I know what you're saying.  If you follow Apple through the years, they can get predictable, but every once in a while they pull something that you didn't expect.

post #62 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdn777 View Post

I think that is a real good example for Apple's patent filings:
- Inductive Charging: Invented and put to products by others before, used in many and low-tech low-cost products like electric toothbrushes
- control via device orientation: Invented and put to products by others before,e.g. game controllers and my old Samsung Wave Phone for silencing the alarm and switchin on the speakerphone
Put both together with a vague idea behind it and gee you have a cause you can sue others that have the same trivial idea without having to go through the expensive and cumbersome process of making true inventions.
And while any clear thinking man must recognise the insanity of backing this legally, the adepts will praise apple's innovation when the iPhone 6 will have it approx. a year later than Nokia. But probably this will not hinder Apple from sueing them in the end.

AppleStores have an induction charging system for mice, keyboards, etc.  It's kind of expensive.  But it's cool.

 

Personally, I would prefer if they could make a battery that lasted 10 years running a device 24/7 without having to be recharged.  But I think we might have to wait a little longer for that.

post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

We'll need multiple charging pads:
1) Bedside.
2) Home desk.
3) Work desk.
4) Kitchen?
I think a way to use wireless signals to charge is the way forward, as per Tesla's research. Or if that is unsafe or inefficient, perhaps a way to use eye safe lasers to beam energy to a spot on a device.
Convenience sells, inconvenience and over expense puts people off.

The problem with induction charging is you have to be able to have one of those induction chargers where ever you go. What happens if you go out of town?  Do you have to pack your induction charging pad with you? 

 

Hotels would have to have them in the rooms, etc.

post #64 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

Nokia is following in the footsteps of my Braun toothbrush from 20 years ago.

Yeah, but your Braun toothbrush is only being used for about 2 minutes a couple of times a day and you can charge it once and it would last a few days or so on a charge.

 

The Nokia phone won't last a few days or a week with normal usage on one charge.  You'd have to always be close to that induction charging station.

 

I think it's a cool idea for a mouse, wireless keyboard and track pad for your desktop computer, but mobile devices that you are constantly traveling with? I'm not so sure.

post #65 of 67
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
AppleStores have an induction charging system for mice, keyboards, etc.  It's kind of expensive.  But it's cool.

 

Uh, source?! Sounds like something they'd do, but it also sounds like a needlessly expensive thing to do.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #66 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Yeah, but your Braun toothbrush is only being used for about 2 minutes a couple of times a day and you can charge it once and it would last a few days or so on a charge.

 

The Nokia phone won't last a few days or a week with normal usage on one charge.  You'd have to always be close to that induction charging station.

 

Why not? The Qi spec allows for 5W or up to 120W charging. More than enough for a mobile phone. Idle power output should be close to 0.

 

What comes to the efficiency argument: http://www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com/technology/comparison-of-power-savings.html

"Transfer efficiency wireless charger (% of wired power adapter)  70%

Average power supplied during load (Watt) 2

Efficiency of wired power adapter during load (%) 72%"

 

 
So about a 30% reduction in efficiency during charging. During idle, there is no difference.
post #67 of 67
The only place I want inductive charging is in my car. That way my bluetooth headset's battery won't be dead whenever I want to use it if they build inductive charging into it. Plantronics, are you listening?!?
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