In yesterday's report titled "Apple Strategically Delays the iPad Pro until the Fall," we pointed out that Apple could possibly introduce a new protective cover for their new iPad entry and one of the options could be a cover with built-in inductive charging. Today, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals Apple's ongoing work on this very invention. In Apple's continuation patent we find two key patent claims that differ from the original patent application that we covered back in 2013.
The two key patent claims that are new for this invention are as follows:
Patent Claim #31: A portable electronic device, comprising: a processor and coupled to the processor: a display having a size and a shape of a front side of the portable electronic device, a sensor, a battery and an inductive power receiver, the sensor being operable to detect when a body of an accessory device is magnetically secured to the portable electronic device by a magnetic element disposed within the body, the body comprising an inductive power transmitter configured to inductively couple with the inductive power receiver, wherein when the body is detected by the sensor, the inductive power receiver is enabled by the processor to receive an operable amount of power from the inductive power transmitter in accordance with a current battery state.
Patent Claim # 38: An accessory device arranged to inductively provide power to a portable electronic device having a display coupled to a processor, a sensor, a battery, a protective layer having a size and a shape of a front side of the portable electronic device and overlaying the display, and an inductive power receiver unit, comprising: a body comprising: an inductive power transmitter arranged to inductively pass power to the portable electronic device by inductive coupling with the inductive power receiver unit, and a magnetic element used to secure the body to the portable electronic device that is then detected by the sensor, wherein when the sensor detects the magnetic element, the processor enables the inductive power receiver unit to receive an operable amount of power from the inductive power transmitter in accordance with a current battery state of the battery.
To review more about Apple's invention, check out our 2013 patent report titled "Apple Invents iPad Smart Cover with Built-In Inductive Charging," or check out Apple's continuation patent 20150061589.
This would be a great feature to ensure that students and enterprise users can have enough power to keep Apple's MobileFirst apps running all day. But we have to be realistic and acknowledge that this is an invention and there's no guarantee that it will ever surface.
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