Apple Invents a New Wave of Wireless Charging Devices Designed to Work with Third Party Peripherals & more
Earlier today Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Invents a Wireless Charging System that Puts Equal Emphasis on Wireless Data Transfers." A second patent on wireless charging was published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office, this time relating to a wireless charging assembly with a few standout features. More particularly, the present invention relates to a wireless charging assembly that could be used as a component in a charging device such as a charging station.
Apple notes that Sometimes, third-party manufacturers also provide peripheral systems that utilize mobile devices and provide additional functionality, such as playing audio on speakers or video on a display device. These third-party manufacturers may wish to provide charging capabilities for mobile devices in such peripheral systems. In other words, they may wish to incorporate a charging device into the peripheral system.
This is likely why Apple joined the Wireless Charging Consortium so that Apple's third party peripherals developers could ensure their wireless charging system is compatible with Apple's charging stations.
Charging Assembly for Wireless Power Transfer
Technically speaking, Apple notes that some embodiments pertain to a wireless charging assembly comprising a housing, a cap structure, a ferrimagnetic sleeve, an inductive coil, a magnet, a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), and a four-pin connector.
The housing can include a bottom housing surface having an aperture, and a sidewall extending between the bottom housing surface and a lip that extends outward from the sidewall along a perimeter of the housing parallel to the bottom housing surface.
The cap structure can have a charging surface and a bottom cap surface opposite the charging surface. The bottom cap surface can include a ridge formed along a perimeter of the cap structure and can be coupled to the housing at the lip. In some embodiments, the bottom housing surface further can have a plurality of protrusions, each protrusion including a threaded screw hole configured to receive a screw or bolt.
The ferrimagnetic sleeve can be disposed within the housing. The ferrimagnetic sleeve can include first and second opposing faces, a central opening extending from the first face to the second face through the ferrimagnetic sleeve, and a recess surrounding the central opening and open at the first face.
The inductive coil can be disposed within the recess between the bottom cap surface and the second face of the ferrimagnetic sleeve. The inductive coil can be configured to wirelessly transmit power across the charging surface.
The magnet can be disposed within the central opening of the ferrimagnetic sleeve. The PCBA can be disposed within the housing between the second face of the ferrimagnetic sleeve and the bottom housing surface. The four-pin connector can be attached to (or part of) the PCBA and extend from a bottom surface of the PCBA through the aperture. The four-pin connector can be electrically coupled to the inductive coil. In some embodiments, the PCBA can comprise one or more contact pads configured to receive (and electrically couple to) wires from the inductive coil. In some embodiments, the PCBA can comprise wireless charging circuit elements.
The wireless charging assembly can further comprising an electromagnetic shield disposed between the bottom cap surface of the cap structure and the inductive coil. In some embodiments, the wireless charging assembly can further comprise an adhesive material disposed between the cap structure and the housing. In some embodiments, the wireless charging assembly is substantially impermeable to liquids.
Apple's patent FIG. 5 noted below is a simplified cross-section of a charging device incorporating the wireless charging assembly. The charging device could be a dock, docking station and portable battery; FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate three examples of charging devices incorporating the wireless charging assembly.
Apple further notes that charging devices (FIGS. 6A and 6B) 600, 610, and 620 can also play media content stored in the mobile device by way of a speaker and/or a video display.
The wireless charging device comprising FIGS. 6A and 6B show a design with a pop-up element so that a device like an iPhone can be angled on it while you're working on your iMac or just a standalone display using the iPhone's brains acting as a simple desktop just like Samsung introduced yesterday with DeX.
And lastly, in Apple's patent FIG. 6C noted above we're able to see a simplified illustration of another example charging device #620 incorporating charging assembly #100.
The charging device can be a portable battery and can include a power storage battery not shown in FIG. 6C.
In some embodiments, the battery in base structure #622 can be charged by placing the charging device in a battery charging unit. Although depicted as a cylinder in FIG. 6C, the base structure can be in any appropriate shape and geometry.
Apple's patent application was filed back in Q3 2015. For more details about this invention, click here. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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