Apple has been Granted a Pair of 2-Way Charging Patents for a Future MacBook Pro that could Recharge iDevices and more
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple two patents for 2-way charging, also referred to as reverse charging. Apple's work on this invention dates back to their original patent filing back in March 2016.
With the advent of iPhone 12 introducing MagSafe Charging using magnetics, Apple's patent for inductive charging between a future MacBook Pro and/or iPad Pro and iDevices such as an Apple Watch, an iPhone and/or an AirPods charging case begins to look like a very real possible scenario in the future. This is something that Apple could now pull off with their new M1 processors.
Apple's patent FIGS. 7A and 17 below illustrate how multiple inductive charging coils could be placed under the frame of a MacBook that could accommodate charging of multiple devices at one time.
Apple's patent FIGS. 18 and 20 above show how the lid or cover of a MacBook could be laced with inductive charging coils that could act as a charging plate and charge individual devices over a single coil or have sets of devices (iPad mini, iPhone and Apple Watch) being charged over multiple coils.
While Apple was granted their first patent for this in late 2016, Apple's latest pair of patents regarding inductive charging has added a total of 40 new patent claims supporting this invention.
Below are just 3 of the 40 new claims. Patent claims #1, #13 and #14 are examples taken from Apple's granted patent 10,886,771:
Patent Claim #1: "A portable electronic device comprising: an enclosure having a back surface and defining an opening opposite from the back surface; a display positioned within the opening of the enclosure; a first inductive coil and a second inductive coil positioned separate from the first inductive coil, both the first inductive coil and the second inductive coil being positioned within the enclosure and between the display and the back surface of the enclosure, and operable to wirelessly transmit power to, or receive power from, an external device positioned proximate to the enclosure; and a first alignment component positioned adjacent to the first inductive coil and a second alignment component positioned adjacent to the second inductive coil, wherein the first alignment component is arranged in a first configuration, and the second alignment component is arranged in a second configuration different from the first configuration."
Patent Claim #13: "The electronic device of claim 9, wherein: the electronic device is a device selected from a group consisting of a first mobile phone, a first smart phone, a first tablet computer, a first notebook computer, and a first protective case; and the external device is a device selected from a group consisting of a second mobile phone, a second smart phone, a second tablet computer, and a second notebook computer."
Patent Claim #14: "The electronic device of claim 9, wherein: the battery of the electronic device is configured to be charged by the external device in the power receiving mode; and the battery of the electronic device is configured to charge the external device in the power transmitting mode."
For more patent figures and overview of the original patent, you could review our original patent application report here. You could review Apple's current granted patents and new patent claims here and here.