Apple Patents Orientation-Based Charging Dock
Inductive charging isn’t anything new, however Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,645,604 brings new information on their upcoming ventures, and how they can bring uniqueness to such revolutionary technology. Several wireless charging plates are already on the market such as the ‘Duracell powermat’ and ‘Nokia wireless charging plate’. Apple’s patent finalised this week, now brings something different which could possibly be available to Apple users very soon.
Unlike conventional docking stations, the patent describes a device which contains various sensors. These detect the physical orientation of the device when placed on the mat. Furthermore placing the device at different orientations would cause it perform a different number of functions, with a display identifying which action is being performed. This could include such things as wireless charging, data synchronisation, or diagnostic checking. As seen in the patent illustrations it could support multiple gadgets at different orientations, allowing the device to multi task. Your iPod could be syncing your latest downloads with iTunes, while it charges up your iPhone. Multitasking, as well as the wireless charging functions would work very well with the rumoured ‘iWatch’. Solar panel technology has been hinted as a solution, however (due to size restrictions) these are not powerful enough to run such gadgets. Inductive charging has already been linked with Apple’s smart-watch project, and this type of technology is obviously of great interest to them.
Whether or not Apple will produce such a product is unknown. However the idea of a smart dock is very compelling, offering a connection between your computer, mobile phone and power supply without the need of a lightning cable. I’m sure a device like this would be welcomed by Apple consumers as the current docks available for the current ‘iPhone 5s’ and iPhone 5c’ offer nothing different to others on the market. However with past patents relating to a smart dock, (including the possibility of it being ‘voice controlled’) it would indicate far more are still to come before any official information is released.