Apple wins a patent for an iDevice coating that offers frictional properties, fingerprint resistance & supports Reverse Charging
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to iPhones having a coating that includes a linear fluorinated oligomer or linear fluorinated polymer that provides superior anti-fingerprint results while enhancing wireless charging on both sides of an iDevice that could come in handy when "reverse charging" or 2-way charging a second device.
Apple's patent claims points to glass being used on the back of the device. Further, the claims state that a patterned coating positioned along an outer surface of the glass cover member and defining a set of distinct micro-scale regions, each micro-scale region of the set of distinct micro-scale regions including a linear fluorinated oligomer and having a lateral dimension.
Coincidentally, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman posted a rumor report in June claiming that the 2022 iPad will come with a glass back that will support reverse charging.
Apple's invention covers coatings that are applied to external surfaces of electronic devices. The coatings may be patterned or plasma treated. The coatings may repel or be resistant to water, oil, or both due, in part, to inclusion of a fluorinated material in the coating. In embodiments, the fluorinated material includes a linear fluorinated oligomer or linear fluorinated polymer.
In some embodiments, the coating may be patterned to define regions or features of the fluorinated material. The pattern defined by the coating is not visually discernable to the human eye, but imparts desired frictional properties. In embodiments, the patterned coating maintains good durability and resistance to water and/or oil.
The coatings described herein may provide several advantages including, but not limited to, making the electronic device easier to hold and facilitating wireless charging functions.
More specifically, Coating #140 (of FIG. 1A Below) may facilitate and/or improve wireless charging of the electronic device 100 (or of a second electronic device). For example, the electronic device #100 to which the coating has been applied may be placed in contact with or in proximity to a wireless charging device (e.g., a charging station, charging pad, or the like), and the coating may help keep the electronic device in contact with the wireless charging device.
As an additional example, the coating may facilitate wireless charging of a second electronic device that is placed in contact with an external surface of the electronic device – which is better known as reverse wireless charging or 2-way charging.
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below shows a front view of an iPhone; FIG. 1B shows a rear view of the electronic device of FIG. 1A.
Apple's patent FIG. 2A above shows an enlarged top view of an example patterned coating defining multiple discrete regions; and FIG. 2B shows an example of a partial cross-sectional view of the patterned coating of FIG. 2A.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,098,218. Apple's listed inventors include:
Naoto Matsuyuki: Sr. Product Design Engineer
Matt Rogers: Manager, Product Design Materials/Coatings
Manish Mittal: Materials Product Design Engineer