21 Sep

Apple patent reveals odd headphone cord inductive charging system

first_imgLike most big tech companies, Apple applies for a lot of patents. We’ve seen all kinds of things revealed in previous filings, from text-to-speech technologies for the iPhone to diminutive displays integrated into the Magic Mouse. Patently Apple has spotted yet another application, this one for an inductive charging system.It’s a fairly straightforward design: the charging base is fitted with a cylindrical tower around which an iPod or iPhone’s headphone cord can be wrapped. That in turn forms an inductive coil, which then creates a magnetic field that can charge the device’s internal battery. This is actually the second power-related patent application we’ve seen from Apple recently. Just last month, its short-range wireless charging system was revealed.The two applications present an interesting juxtaposition. On one hand, you have a decidedly un-Apple looking contraption. While a retail product would no doubt look a bit different than the drawing, the image of a tangle of cord wrapped around anything seems like it would make the designers at Apple wince. On the other hand, you’ve got a system that can charge a device wherever a user sets it down — provided that the charging base is positioned close by.Based on Apple’s undeniable love of clean lines and general tidiness, the wireless system seems a much more likely addition to Apple’s retail products.There is, however, a slight twist to the inductive charger that does have an Apple ring to it. The headphones pictured are plugged into the device via its dock port. That would remove one more unsightly hole in iPhone, iPod, and iPad cases and it would also “encourage” customers to purchase Apple-built replacement headphones — or at least get third-party OEMs to cough up licensing fees to build their own phones with the dock connector.More at Patently Applelast_img read more