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Apple Patent Hints to Future Motion Charger

By - Source: USPTO | B 33 comments

Charging mobile devices simply by heat or the motion of our body has been an idea that has been kicked around for a while.

IBM has been predicting such a technology in its annual technology forecast for some time now and still predicts that motion chargers could be a reality in or shortly after 2015.

However, Apple has attracted some attention by actually applying for a patent covering a power supply via electromagnetic induction. The patent application, filed in June of this year, could conceivably hint to a power supply that will charge your iPhone battery as soon as your body is in motion, as TechCrunch pointed out.

What makes Apple's patent especially interesting is the design of the electromagnetic induction process. Apple does not intend to use the kind of traditional wire coils that are typically shown to demonstrate induction. Instead, Apple says it is possible to use coils printed on circuit boards, which would indicate that this technology could actually fit into a mobile device without the need for clumsy wires.

There was no information just how much power such a system is able to generate. However, it appears that if Apple truly has body motion in mind when it reminds us that the movement of magnets close to printed coils can create an "electromotive force", then we surely hope that this patent will end up in technology we will be able to buy soon.

 

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  • 19 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 30, 2012 1:08 PM
    I don't know if that's innovative, or trolling, given Apple's history.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2012 1:10 PM
    I've always wanted a feature like this for my phones...
    But Apple patenting it means I'll never get it for my phones. :/ 
  • 16 Hide
    mesab66 , September 30, 2012 1:14 PM
    "Charging mobile devices simply by heat or the motion of our body has been an idea.....

    IBM has been predicting such a technology.....

    The patent application, filed in June of this year, could conceivably hint to a power supply"

    etc,etc --> does anyone else think that innovation should only be rewarded when an actual prototype has been built and proven to be , erm, actually 'innovative'

    --> i.e. does this type of activity (early (theoretical) patent with no prototype) block all future competitive activity in the (legal) area surrounding the patent. Is this really a good thing for open innovation? Do we need to change the way patent applications work?



Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    bawss , September 30, 2012 1:08 PM
    Oh the patents...
  • 19 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 30, 2012 1:08 PM
    I don't know if that's innovative, or trolling, given Apple's history.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2012 1:10 PM
    I've always wanted a feature like this for my phones...
    But Apple patenting it means I'll never get it for my phones. :/ 
  • 16 Hide
    mesab66 , September 30, 2012 1:14 PM
    "Charging mobile devices simply by heat or the motion of our body has been an idea.....

    IBM has been predicting such a technology.....

    The patent application, filed in June of this year, could conceivably hint to a power supply"

    etc,etc --> does anyone else think that innovation should only be rewarded when an actual prototype has been built and proven to be , erm, actually 'innovative'

    --> i.e. does this type of activity (early (theoretical) patent with no prototype) block all future competitive activity in the (legal) area surrounding the patent. Is this really a good thing for open innovation? Do we need to change the way patent applications work?



  • 4 Hide
    mesab66 , September 30, 2012 1:17 PM
    can any honest lawyer pipe in with their opinion - please use 'human advancement & innovation' in the fore.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , September 30, 2012 2:30 PM
    didnt these kind of technology exist on watch already?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2012 2:56 PM
    To charge your phone you have to move... maybe this kind of technology will help combat obesity. There will ofcourse be extra resistance created from the induction even if just unnoticably small.
  • 5 Hide
    shafe88 , September 30, 2012 3:14 PM
    hydac7Can somebody make a phone these days which will just work and not suck ? :|

    Nope and you can thank apple and the patent office.
  • 3 Hide
    nocteratus , September 30, 2012 3:23 PM
    I predict another patent war in the near future
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2012 3:34 PM
    They didn't patent an actual implementation, they just pre-emptively patented an unworkable idea so that they can troll Samsung wheneve Samsung actually figure it out.

    However, there is no way to generate any usable amount of electricity from body heat or motion. There is no viable function to generate electricity from the ever-so-slightly-higher than ambient human body temperature, and any electricity generated from motion is going to be relative to the (tiny) mass of the generator assembly of the charging device. It would be more efficient to make the back of the phone a solar cell(a la ye olden solar calculators from the 90s) than to use motion or body heat, and any freshman engineering major knows that.
  • -3 Hide
    eternalkp , September 30, 2012 4:07 PM
    oh no
    Nokia 920, prepared to pay $110 billion dollars
  • 4 Hide
    vkg1 , September 30, 2012 4:26 PM
    "we surely hope that this patent will end up in technology we will be able to buy soon"

    No "we" don't. You seem to have us confused with low intelligence people. It's Apple crap. Apple is evil and we'd rather not hear about it ever.
  • 8 Hide
    azraa , September 30, 2012 5:51 PM
    To Apple :3

    Please, patent your stuff once you have diagrams and blueprints for it. When everyone can actually see that you have legitimately engineered a new device, a patend should be granted to you. Please, again, stop trying to patent IDEAS.

    Thanks
    -The Average Tech-Informed Guy

    With copy to: The US patent department.
  • 3 Hide
    falchard , September 30, 2012 6:33 PM
    Something tells me the #1 patent holder and filer IBM patented this idea 20 years ago. Good luck Apple. Especially if IBM has already been experimenting with it.
  • 5 Hide
    kartu , September 30, 2012 6:50 PM
    Apple: we can patent even ancient inventions, long live USPO!
  • 1 Hide
    christarp , September 30, 2012 7:29 PM
    hydac7Can somebody make a phone these days which will just work and not suck ? :|


    The iphone is literally just that
  • 8 Hide
    A Bad Day , September 30, 2012 7:48 PM
    azraaTo Apple :3Please, patent your stuff once you have diagrams and blueprints for it. When everyone can actually see that you have legitimately engineered a new device, a patend should be granted to you. Please, again, stop trying to patent IDEAS.Thanks-The Average Tech-Informed GuyWith copy to: The US patent department.


    To politicians:

    Please reform the US Patent Office, and give it extra funding so it has more staff to handle the patent application overload.


    Probability of them caring: 1%
    Probability of them cutting each others' throats over abortions, gay rights and etc: 99%
  • 6 Hide
    InvalidError , September 30, 2012 9:25 PM
    Apple attempting to patent coils printed on PCBs or equivalent... some RFID chips have already been there several years ago. Companies should be able to preemptively sue the PTOs for granting frivolous patents with abundant and "ancient" prior-art.
  • -5 Hide
    gfair , October 1, 2012 1:56 AM
    Aww, the Apple haters are flocking to another article about Apple and patents, trying to justify their hate for just one company and one brand of phone with all sorts of excuses, like only Apple should have to have blueprints and prototypes, while the rest of the industry gets to continue patenting the way it is now.

    Changing the way patents are granted is a noble goal, but it will take a gargantuan effort. Attacking Apple for using the systems like its competition does is just silly.

    Apple has brought the entire industry to the state it's in today, had they not done so the lack of innovation would have us with phones barely beyond the N95 today. They bring the industry forward, they are at the heart of innovation, and even if your non-Apple preferred brand has to *steal* from Apple to keep up, you'll benefit as well. Just as long as they get caught red handed in court.
  • -2 Hide
    jamsbong , October 1, 2012 3:49 AM
    test
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