or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple exploring double-duty NFC, inductive charging coil for smartwatches, mobile phones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple exploring double-duty NFC, inductive charging coil for smartwatches, mobile phones

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
On the heels of a report suggesting that Apple's long-anticipated "iWatch" could be unveiled within the next two weeks, a new patent application published Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows that the company has continued to contemplate wireless charging solutions for just such a device.

A wristwatch-like device as illustrated in Apple's patent application
A wristwatch-like device as illustrated in Apple's patent application


The patent, entitled "wirelessly charged electronic device with shared inductor circuitry," describes a method in which inductive charging mechanisms can be made smaller in order to fit inside more diminutive wearables. Apple specifically calls out "wrist-watch devices, pendant devices, or other wearable...devices" alongside traditional portables like mobile phones.

Using a cable to charge these devices can be "unwieldy," Apple argues, but felt compelled to invent the new methods because current wireless charging circuitry may be too bulky.

Interestingly, the patent appears to focus on ways in which Apple could make use of inductors already present in devices, rather than duplicating hardware. The charging circuit could make use of the magnetic coils of a speaker, for instance, or NFC antennae.

"Switching circuitry in the wireless charging circuitry can selectively couple the capacitor to the inductor when wireless charging signals are being received and converted into power in the electronic device and can selectively isolate the inductor from the capacitor when it is desired to use the inductor as part of a speaker, vibrator, or near field communications circuit," the application reads.




The application was filed in February 2013 and Apple credits Jeffrey J. Terlizzi with the invention of U.S. Patent Application No. 13/776,436. Terlizzi's name is on a number of Apple patents, including the Lightning connector.

Apple has been investigating wireless charging technology for years, holding a bevy of patents on the subject covering both inductive and magnetic resonance charging. Most recently, the company won a patent for a charging dock that could switch between data synchronization, diagnostics, or charging based on the orientation of the device on the dock.
post #2 of 18
I call prior art!

I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #3 of 18
When they start getting similar wireless charging patents for TVs, lightbulbs, computers, electric cars... Brave new world, here we come!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #4 of 18
Well, I feel vindicated now
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Priss View Post

Well, I feel vindicated now

A patent is not a product, so you are not vindicated yet. 😎

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #6 of 18
Maybe you can charge it on your wrist and get an MRI at the same time!
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

Maybe you can charge it on your wrist and get an MRI at the same time!

...or a tan!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #8 of 18

Doesn't seem efficient.  If this could work out to charging while you were walking around with the thing on your wrist, that would be nice.  As it stands, I believe all this would accomplish is take more time to charge when the watch is on the charger at night, a big inconvenience if you are trying to charge between meetings, for example.

post #9 of 18

So your watch can be your NFC payment device too, so you don't have to pull the phone out. Maybe that's where Apple's NFC is going to be and not in the actual phone, though likely it will be in both.

post #10 of 18

That's a very Apple-y solution.

For your sake, I hope you're right.
Reply
For your sake, I hope you're right.
Reply
post #11 of 18

While I'm not a fan of inductive charging in general, I gotta admit it makes sense for a watch.

 

I love the idea of using existing coils! It seems so obvious, but only after someone smart points it out! :)

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

Audio Engineer

V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

Reply
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

While I'm not a fan of inductive charging in general, I gotta admit it makes sense for a watch.

I love the idea of using existing coils! It seems so obvious, but only after someone smart points it out! 1smile.gif

Well of course it makes sense in a watch. It needs to be light and any physical connector is simply too large. Though ultimately I still feel that any kind of "smartwatch" is doomed in the marketplace due to the need to charge it to begin with. Regular watches last years on a battery. Even the Timex watch Microsoft was involved with got "obsoleted" when we went from CRT's to LCD's due to the communication's link being a rather unique wireless optical solution, but it still lasted the same amount of time on a battery as any other watch.

Like what would be killer for a smart watch is solar/kinectic charging, with actual inductive charging being pulled out of ambient RF fields.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roake View Post
 

Doesn't seem efficient.  If this could work out to charging while you were walking around with the thing on your wrist, that would be nice.  As it stands, I believe all this would accomplish is take more time to charge when the watch is on the charger at night, a big inconvenience if you are trying to charge between meetings, for example.

 

I would suspect that the inductive charging ability is meant as a supplement to other traditional charging forms.  That way it's no less convenient in situations where it's impractical, and very useful in situations where it is practical.

 

I always figured inductive would be a continuous top-me-off kind of charging.  With a charging station at my desk, one on my nightstand, and a third in the cigarette lighter jack in my car there's a good chance I'll rarely if ever need to tether the device to a physical cord.

 

Even better would be if your iPhone/iPad could (optionally) send out the charge for the watch to pick up.  As long as the larger device had at least, say, 50% battery it could help out a watch that was running low.

You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

Reply

You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

Reply
post #14 of 18
1) NFC and inductive charging? Two things I'm told that will never exist on an iPhone. Not that this is proof that it will, but it is proof that Apple is at least spending time trying to come up with unique ways to incorporate these technologies.

2) Each of these are potential reasons why the rumoured leaks show thick, ugly bands.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) NFC and inductive charging? Two things I'm told that will never exist on an iPhone. Not that this is proof that it will, but it is proof that Apple is at least spending time trying to come up with unique ways to incorporate these technologies.

2) Each of these are potential reasons why the rumoured leaks show thick, ugly bands.

I have not seen a single part claiming to be a band for a watch or wrist device made by Apple. There have been lots of hideous markups made by amateur designers on the Internet. Do you have a link to a leaked part?
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I have not seen a single part claiming to be a band for a watch or wrist device made by Apple. There have been lots of hideous markups made by amateur designers on the Internet. Do you have a link to a leaked part?

I meant the bands on the back of the rumoured iPhone casing separating the metal backing, not a watch band.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Like what would be killer for a smart watch is solar/kinectic charging

I think a watch is way too small for solar charging. Plus it's also often covered by my shirt sleeve.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Like what would be killer for a smart watch is solar/kinectic charging

I think a watch is way too small for solar charging. Plus it's also often covered by my shirt sleeve.

Roll your sleeves up. Problem solved.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Apple exploring double-duty NFC, inductive charging coil for smartwatches, mobile phones
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple exploring double-duty NFC, inductive charging coil for smartwatches, mobile phones