Apple has won patents covering two kinds of Recharging Systems including a Smart Power Bank & AirPower
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover two kinds of recharging system including AirPower and a Smart Power Bank system.
Smart Power Bank system
Apple's granted patent covers Apple's improvement on the power bank type of product.
Apple notes that rechargeable Batteries may be found in a variety of portable electronic devices including laptop, notebook and tablet computer systems, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, digital media players, cameras, etc. Current battery technology provides only a moderate amount of energy storage. As a result, individuals that make heavy use of their portable devices can find the need to recharge them while away from home or office. For this, individuals may use an AC powered charger, a backup or replacement battery, or an external battery pack used to charge the electronic device's internal battery. The latter type of device is often referred to as a "power bank."
Apple's patent covers systems, methods, and computer readable media to improve the transfer of power between a portable power bank and an electronic device.
In general, techniques are disclosed for efficiently transferring power from a portable power bank to an electronic device. More particularly, a disclosed power bank incorporates a switching mechanism capable of routing battery voltage (novel) or a stepped-up voltage (e.g., from a boost regulator) directly to a common portion of an output connector.
In addition, electronic devices as described herein also incorporate a switching mechanism to allow them to accept direct battery input (novel) such as that from the disclosed power bank or a stepped-up voltage at a common portion of the device's connector (e.g., a USB connector).
When used in combination, the disclosed portable power bank can transfer power to the electronic device with no more than half the loss attributable to voltage conversion operations of prior art power banks.
Apple provides a series of patent FIGS. 4A-4F that show, in block diagram form, smart power bank systems configured in different manners. Below is just one of the examples, patent FIG. 4B.
Apple's granted patent 10,797,358 was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. For more details, check out the patent here.
Foreign Object Detection in Wireless Charging Systems
Apple's second patent regarding recharging relates to Apple's possible future AirPower charging pad.
Apple states that a wireless power system may have a wireless power transmitting device such as wireless charging mat. The wireless power transmitting device may wirelessly transmit power to one or more wireless power receiving devices such as a wristwatch, cellular telephone, tablet computer, laptop computer, electric vehicle, or other electronic device. The wireless power receiving device(s) may use power from the wireless power transmitting device for powering the device and for charging an internal battery.
Foreign objects on the coil array such as metallic objects without wireless power receiving coils can be detected using foreign object detection. When multiple wireless power receiving devices are present on the wireless power transmitting device, steps may be taken to isolate measurements from the coils associated with each wireless power receiving device. Foreign object detection may then be performed on these modified measurements.
As shown in FIG. 3 below, foreign object 72B is an example of a foreign object that can be detected using image-processing-based foreign object detection. In image-processing based foreign object detection, inductance from each coil in the array may be examined. In-band communication may be used for wireless power transmitting AirPower to receive a device-identifier from each wireless power receiving device on the charging surface.
Apple's granted patent 10,797,534 was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Patently Apple covered this as a patent application back in March 2019 titled "Apple invents a Foreign Object Detection System for AirPower that uses Machine-Learning." You could check out our report for more details.