Apple reveals more on their 2-Way Charging Feature that they describe as a 'Hybrid Wireless Charging System'
Back in Q1 2016 Patently Apple posted a report titled "A New Apple Invention Covers Inductive Charging Between iOS Devices & even a MacBook." Our cover graphic represents patent figures from that patent application. In Q3 2019 Apple was granted that patent. Apple fans were hoping to see 2-way charging in the new iPhone 11 due to a prediction by Ming-Chi Kuo. The prediction was wrong and Kuo scrambled to walk back his prediction back in September. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a reverse wireless charging that Apple describes as being a portable device such as an iPhone, iPad or MacBook containing a "Hybrid Wireless Charging System."
Apple's invention revealed today covers a portable electronic device that includes a hybrid wireless charging system. The hybrid wireless charging system is configured to not only receive charge from a wireless charging device, but also transmit charge to a secondary electronic device. In some embodiments, the hybrid charging system can include a hybrid receiver/transmitter coil and one or more alignment mechanisms to assist in alignment with the secondary electronic device.
By incorporating a hybrid charging system in a portable electronic device, it improves functionality of the electronic device and helps the portable electronic device achieve efficient power transfer with a secondary electronic device.
While the new wireless Hybrid charging system will allow an iPhone to sit on a single device charging pad and have an accessory device like AirPods charging from the iPhone, the part of the invention everyone is more interested in is allowing an iPhone to recharge an Apple Watch or AirPods on the go or have an iPhone recharged sitting on a MacBook as Apple's granted patent figures above illustrate.
Jumping to the chase, Apple notes in their patent filing that portable electronic device #204 illustrated in patent FIG. 2b below can be a consumer electronic device, such as a smart phone, tablet, and the like.
Apple's hybrid wireless charging system #207 can also operate to transmit power to a secondary device.
For instance, with reference to FIG. 2B above, a secondary electronic device #214, noted as being a smart watch, smart phone, wireless earbuds, a case for the wireless earbuds, and the like, or it can be any other portable electronic device such as a tablet, laptop, and the like.
The secondary device can be positioned on a charging surface of the portable electronic device #204 to receive charge from portable electronic device #204 which is clarified as being a smartphone (iPhone) or tablet (iPad).
In some embodiments, interface surface #220 is the charging surface upon which secondary electronic device #214 can receive power from portable electronic device #204. Thus, portable electronic device 204 can receive power as well as transfer power through the same surface, i.e., interface surface 220.
Apple further clarifies that "Secondary electronic device #214 can be an electronic device that can operate without being coupled to a power grid by running on its own locally stored electrical power.
During wireless power transfer from portable electronic device #204 to secondary electronic device #214, hybrid wireless charging system #207 can operate to transmit power to secondary electronic device #214.
Apple's patent application 20190363565 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q2 2019. The patent includes two provisional patents on record since Q2 2018. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
Tang Yew Tan: Vice President, iPhone & Apple Watch Product Design
Richard Dinh: Senior Director iPhone Product Design
Chris Graham: Product Design Manager
Ruben Larson: Product Design Engineer. Came to Apple via Research in Motion (BlackBerry)
Grant Haug: Interconnect Product Design Engineer
Aaron Oro: Product Design Engineer
Benjamin Pope: iPhone Product Design
Sherry Lee: Product Design Engineer