Apple Invents Wireless Charging iPad Cases
Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a foldable iPad case, folio or perhaps even a future iPad Magic keyboard integrated with charging coils to extend the battery life of an iPad (or iPhone).
Apple's patent states that in some instances, an electronic device may be coupled to a removable case. When held by the removable case, a portion of the removable case may sometimes be interposed between the electronic device and an adjacent electronic device. In one example, the electronic device held by the case may serve as a power receiving device and the adjacent electronic device may serve as a power transmitting device.
To improve charging efficiency, the removable case may include one or more magnetic cores (e.g., ferrite pieces) to direct magnetic flux from the transmitting device to the receiving device.
As shown in FIG. 4 below, the wireless charging system may also include a removable cover or case #102; FIG. 9A is a top view of the case. In the example of FIG. 9A, shielding structure #256 forms a ring around magnetic core #252. Shielding structure #258 forms a ring around magnetic core #254. When interposed between a power transmitting device and power receiving device, permanent magnets #264 may couple to permanent magnets in the adjacent devices and position magnetic cores #252 and #254 in an appropriate alignment. The magnetic cores may be sized to accommodate potential alignment variations relative to the adjacent devices.
Apple's patent FIG. 11 above is a top view of a case including a ring-shaped magnetic core. As shown, magnetic core #276 is shaped in a ring. Permanent magnet #264 may also have a ring shape that is concentric with the ring of magnetic core. If desired, one or more rings of shielding material (e.g., copper shielding material or another shielding material) may be incorporated into the case. The ring(s) of shielding material may be concentric with the magnetic core and magnetic alignment structure.
For more details, review Apple's patent application number 20210384754.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.