Two years ago Apple filed patent number 20120303980, which outlines its magnetic resonance charging technology. A two-year-old patent application may not seem like very relevant news as we near 2013, but given the lawsuit prone consumer electronics industry, it’s more relevant than ever. Apple is notorious for filing lawsuits against companies who do anything remotely similar to what Apple does (i.e. touch screen phones, pinch to zoom, etc).
The particular interest surrounding patent number 20120303980 is that magnetic resonance charging technology has been around for quite some time. In 2008, a start by the name of WiPower filed a patent on the technology as a whole, and was soon after acquired by chip-giant Qualcomm. This led to the formation of The Alliance For Wireless Power, of which Apple rival, Samsung, is a member. Apple filed its patent before the alliance was started, but well after WiPower’s initial patent. Apple’s patent has a distinct difference from the others, in that Apple’s technology allows for wireless charging to occur within a distance of 1 meter, as opposed to direct contact with a charging base.
What Does It All Mean?
What we are now left with is two competing groups fighting for wireless patents: The Alliance for Wireless Power, and the Consortium for Wireless Power. We are due for a patent-battle like we’ve never seen before. Will consumers end up being the winners in all this?
Imagine not needing wires to charge your iDevices. The elimination of wires would also make for sleeker iPod nano accessories, iPhone, and iPad accessories. Some smartphones already include this technology, and there are after-market magnetic resonance charging solutions. If Apple isn’t caught up on lawsuits for the next year or so, we could be seeing this technology built-in to Apple hardware soon.
What are your thoughts on wireless power? Are consumers going to adapt to something that is not widely implemented? Weigh in below, or by reaching out to us on Facebook and Twitter!