Apple's Work on an iPad Cover with Built-In Inductive Charging Continues with the Addition of a new Sensor
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent application from Apple relating to a future iPad, and more specifically, an iPad cover that is designed to provide inductive charging. While Apple continues to work on their multi-device charging pad, known as AirPower, Apple's work on bringing inductive charging to an iPad continues full steam ahead.
Apple was granted a patent for this back in June of this year and today we that Apple had filed this latest application a month before the received their first granted patent. In this filing, all changes are within the patent claims that are used to protect their invention. The continuation aspect of the invention is Apple including a new "sensor" that is listed 6 times in this new application. Below are three examples of introducing a new sensor that acts as a regulator of sorts.
Apple notes in their first claim that one of the operational components includes a processor in communication with a "sensor" capable of detecting a magnetic field.
Patent Claim #3: the tablet device sends the signal to the protective cover when the sensor detects the protective cover magnetic element and the tablet device is not connected to an external power supply.
Patent Claim #8: wherein the sensor is capable of detecting the protective cover magnetic element when the portion of the single piece flap that carries the protective cover magnetic element is in contact with the protective layer.
Apple's patent FIG. 6 above shows a top view of segmented cover in a closed configuration with respect to a tablet device showing more clearly inductive power transmitter; FIG. 7 shows a front perspective view of a tablet device supported by triangular support structure; and FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of single continuous element type inductive power transmitter in the form of circular inductive power transmitter.
The idea behind this invention is to provide users with an added power supply for their iPad. When the user's iPad battery is at a low point, the iPad would communicate this to the iPad cover via today's new sensor described that would then supply the iPad with needed power to get the user through their day with a second round of power.
Today's continuation patent application was filed back in May 2018. Apple has been steadily working on this invention since 2011. Patently Apple covered Apple's original patent application for this invention in detail back in 2013 which you could review here.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Wireless charging has been focused on the iPhone thus far, but Apple's patent today shows us their work on integrating inductive charging into an iPad cover is still in the works.
On a slightly different track, Patently Apple posted a granted patent report on September 11th that illustrated a future iPad with a ceramic back supporting future wireless charging (see FIG. 6 below). This is a new iPad design that will likely work with a charging pad and hopefully with AirPower, should it still be on track.
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