Apple mulls wireless power in new patent

Apr 5, 2012
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Join us, friends, as we once again delve into the mysterious and abstract world of patents. AppleInsider has taken a closer look at one of Apple’s new patent applications, called “Active Electronic Media Packaging”. It describes a method that would allow power to be sent wirelessly to devices like the iPhone and iPad while being displayed in a retail setting.

Not only that, but the technology would be worked into retail packaging, allowing the product to sell itself. Apple goes into detail in the patent application about how “typical packaging for an electronic media device” is “extremely limited”. Customers are unable to interact with the product on offer, since packaging is designed primarily to protect the device.

Apple goes on to say that while packaging does exist that allows a customer to view the device (think the iPod Shuffle), there isn’t any that allows them to interact with gadgets. Existing packaging doesn’t provide any sort of power capabilities, either. Apple’s solution would see an RF power transmitter providing juice to products, with the packaging acting as a receiver.

Since devices would have a steady stream of power, they could be left on, allowing software updates without ever taking them out of the box. You could walk into an Apple retail store, buy a new iPhone or iPad, and have the latest version of iOS ready to go. The patent was first filed in December 2011, and made public this week.


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