Apple Invents an iDevice Coating that provides Desired Frictional Properties, Fingerprint Resistant & Supports 2-Way Charging
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to iDevice coatings including 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 explains what they want to achieve with their latest invention. They note that external surfaces of electronic devices may be coated to provide resistance to fingerprints, smudges, and the like. For example, an oleophobic coating may be applied to a touch-sensitive input surface to improve its resistance to oils and other deposits that may affect appearance and performance. Yet such coatings may also make the device feel slippery or otherwise have a relatively low coefficient of friction.
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.
Apple's patent application 20200095449 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back in Q1 2019. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.