Apple’s new patent filing reveals that a new dual-mode reverse charging system will be used on future iPhones to recharge Accessories+
It has been rumored intermittently and again that Apple will one day offer reverse charging for an iPhone that can recharge accessories. October 2020 (to repeat again in 2021) MacRumors Report The FCC file indicated supports such a feature. then in February 2021Mark Gurman claimed that wirelessly recharging accessories is unlikely in the near future.
Last Thursday, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple regarding a new wireless charging system that uses bi-magnetic alignment components to align devices. In the future, the back of future iPhones could house this new wireless charging system and enable wirelessly recharging accessories like AirPods, case, Apple Watch, and more. Apple’s current wireless charging on the back of the iPhone is limited to a large coil that can’t support charging smaller devices like the Apple Watch.
In Apple’s patent background, note that wireless charging technologies have been developed that exploit electromagnetic induction to charge portable electronic devices without the need for a charging cord. For example, some portable electronic devices can be recharged by simply placing the device on a wireless charger’s charging surface. The transmitter coil disposed below the charge surface is powered by an alternating current that produces a time-varying magnetic flux and induces a current in the corresponding receiver coil in the portable electronic device.
The current induced by the portable electronic device can be used to charge its internal battery. Some portable electronic devices are designed not only to receive power wirelessly but also to transmit power wirelessly to other portable electronic devices, such as peripherals.
However, sometimes it can be impossible to properly align the magnets. in video from iDeviceHelpIn this article, we see how Apple’s wireless charging works with a device like Apple’s MagSafe battery pack. However, when the author actually attempted to recharge the AirPods in his case, it failed, even though the recharge light was temporarily lit. The author of the video thinks it’s probably just a software fix. However, one of Apple’s latest patent applications published last Thursday states that it’s not quite as simple as a “software fix,” it has to introduce a new type of wireless recharging battery design using bimodal magnetic alignment components.
Bimodal magnetic alignment components for device alignment
Apple also notes in its summary that, among other factors, the efficiency of wireless power transmission depends on the alignment between the transceiver coils. For example, the transmitter coil and receiver coil may work better when they are coaxially aligned. When an electronic device has a flat surface with no guiding features, it can be difficult to find proper alignment.
Often, the alignment is achieved by trial and error, with the user shifting the relative positions of the device and charger and observing the effect on charging performance.
Creating perfect alignment this way can be time consuming. Furthermore, the absence of surface features can make it difficult to maintain optimal alignment. For example, if the portable electronic device and/or charger is pushed around while charging, they may be dislodged from alignment. For these and other reasons, some electronic devices include toroidal magnetic alignment components (eg, surrounding inductive coils) that can attract and hold a pair of devices in the desired alignment. These magnetic alignment systems can have two types of alignment components, referred to here as “primary” and “secondary”. Each alignment component can include an annular (or ring-shaped) arrangement of magnets with a fixed arrangement of the magnetic poles such that alignment components of the two types attract each other.
For example, a primary alignment component can have a four-pole magnetic configuration in which the inner and outer annular regions have magnetic polarity oriented in opposite axial directions, while a secondary alignment component can have a dipole magnetic configuration with a radial magnetic orientation. When approaching each other, the primary and secondary alignment components can generate a mutually attractive magnetic force that can pull the alignment components (and devices in which the alignment components are clamped) into the desired alignment and/or resist displacement from the desired alignment.
In magnetic alignment systems of this type, alignment components of the same type (two primary alignment components or two alignment secondary components) repel each other magnetically. This can make it difficult to provide a “dual-mode” device that can be interconnected to devices containing any type of magnetic alignment component.
One option is to delete the magnetic alignment component from the bimodal device; However, a device without a magnetic alignment component cannot enjoy the advantages of magnetic alignment and conductivity.
Another option is to provide two separate magnetic alignment components (one primary and one secondary), but this may also necessitate the provision of additional inductive coils and/or other electronic components, all of which can add to the size, weight, and manufacturing costs of the device.
Certain embodiments of the present invention relate to bimodal alignment components that may be included in a bimodal device. In a bimodal alignment component, the alignment magnets can be reorientated or shifted between a first attachment position in which the magnetic orientation of the alignment magnet is complementary to the primary annular alignment component and a second attachment position in which the magnetic orientation of the alignment magnet is complementary to a secondary annular alignment component. In this way, a device that includes a bimodal alignment component can be interchangeably connected to other devices via a primary toroidal alignment component or a secondary toroidal alignment component.
Apple patented FIG. Figure 4 below shows a simplified exploded view of a dual-mode device; Figs. 7 shows a partial perspective view of the bimodal alignment component.
Apple patent fig. Figures 22a and 22b above show simplified cross-sectional views of a bimodal alignment component at two different splicing positions.
This is a very technical patent. For engineers and super geeks willing to dive into the tiniest details, see Apple Patent Application US 20220416590 A1.
- Tim Rasmussen: Director of Product Design Engineering
- Eric Juul: Senior Director, Product Design
- Christopher Graham: Director of Product Design
- Robin Larson: Director of Product Design
- Eric Chu: Product Design Engineer
#Apples #patent #filing #reveals #dualmode #reverse #charging #system #future #iPhones #recharge #Accessories