iPhone 8 May Use Apple’s In-House Inductive Wireless Charging Rather Than Technology From Energous – Mac Rumors

Over the course of the last year, there has been ongoing speculation that wireless charging company Energous has inked a deal with Apple and could potentially provide wireless charging technology for the upcoming iPhone 8.

While Energous CEO Steve Rizzone has continually hinted that his company has established an agreement with “one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world,” leading people to believe the partner is Apple, a new investor’s note from Copperfield Research outlines why Apple has no plans to use Energous’ WattUp radio frequency-based wireless charging solution.

Copperfield Research examined multiple inductive charging patent applications filed by Apple starting in 2013, which now number more than a dozen, suggesting the patents are a clear indication of Apple’s desire to pursue its own in-house inductive charging solutions for future products. Inductive charging, widely used today, relies on magnetic coils to provide power rather than radio waves.

inductivechargingpatent

An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging

The patents by themselves are not a clear indication of Apple’s plans, but in one patent filed in 2011, Apple makes its feelings on radio frequency-based charging clear, calling it “very inefficient,” “not practical,” and potentially hazardous. In the interest of full disclosure, however, the patent was filed before any prospective relationship with Energous.

However, this type of radiative transfer is very inefficient because only a tiny portion of the supplied or radiated power, namely, that portion in the direction of, and overlapping with, the receiver is picked up. The vast majority of the power is radiated away in all the other directions and lost in free space. Such inefficient power transfer may be acceptable for data transmission, but is not practical for transferring useful amounts of electrical energy for the purpose of doing work, such as for charging electrical devices. […]

In addition, such schemes may pose hazards to objects or people that cross or intersect the beam when modest to high amounts of power are being transmitted.

Furthermore, Copperfield Research suggests both rumored design decisions and recent news that Apple has partnered with Lite-On Semiconductor for wireless charging bridge rectifiers are indications of Apple’s plan to use inductive charging.

Bridge rectifiers, explains Copperfield Research, are used to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), a component needed for inductive charging and one that would not be necessary should Apple be relying on an all-in-one module from Energous.

Apple’s rumored decision to use a glass body also reportedly points towards inductive charging. A glass body would not be required for RF-based wireless charging technology, but is needed for an inductive charging solution.

Adding further credence to Apple’s inductive charging roadmap are the consistent leaks from Asian sources that the next iPhone will feature glass casing. Inductive charging does not penetrate aluminum cases effectively, which is the material for the current iPhone casing. One reason Samsung adopted plastic material for its cases is to improve the performance of wireless charging.

A major misperception among tech blogs and WATT investors is that Apple’s switch to a glass casing somehow confirms the inclusion of WATT’s charging technology. This is ridiculous. The efficacy of RF wireless charging (WATT’s technology) is not affected by aluminum or plastic cases.

Many of Apple’s inductive charging patents outline the improvements Apple has made in the field over the course of the last few years and give hints as to how wireless charging could work if Apple is indeed developing an in-house inductive charging solution for the iPhone 8.

Patents point towards multiple objects that could provide power, such as a table top with a charging coil built in, a desktop charging station, or even a desktop or notebook computer, which could be used to provide power to an iPhone or iPad. Devices could even share power between one another, suggesting a fully charged iPad could charge an iPhone, or vice versa.

inductivechargingpatent2

An image from an Apple patent covering inductive charging

Copperfield Research does believe that Apple had a partnership with Energous that gave the Cupertino-based company a way to research radio frequency-based charging without shelling out cash, but concludes that there is an “overwhelmingly conclusive mosaic” suggesting Apple will use in-house inductive charging for the iPhone 8.

Copperfield Research is made up of an anonymous group of researchers that have shorted Watt’s stock and may not be entirely impartial, but the evidence they have presented makes a compelling argument for the use of an in-house inductive charging solution rather than a partnership with Energous.

Advertisements

Magnetic iPhone mount keeps you charged anywhere

Xvida_Charger_7

While the iPhone 7 is rumored to have wireless charging, those of us who upgraded to the 6s are stuck without until the 7 launches this fall.

Xvida is here to save the day with its new modular mounting system with QI charging, launched today on Kickstarter.

And of course, Cult of Mac is here to show you everything you need to know with a handy video. Check it out below.

Xvida Smartphone Mounting System

The Xvida Smartphone Mounting System is a super easy way to keep my iPhone 6s charged no matter where I am. At home? There’s a mount for that. At work? There’s a mount for that. Driving? You guessed it, there’s a mount for that.

The Xvida uses the latest QI-charging technology, embedded in its mounts — whether it’s the desk, wall or car mount, and a receiver within the iPhone case. I can simply and quickly snap my phone to the mount and begin charging.

No more broken lightning cables or messy wires. I can hide them and just show the beautifully designed magnetic mounts.

On top of that the Xvida can charge my 6s from zero to 100 percent in around 55 minutes. When I compare that to my standard Apple cable, that’s at least an hour quicker!

Although I only have a prototype to try out, I’m really impressed with how quickly it charged my phone and the build-quality of the stand. Having used Xvida products over the years, I can confidently say that the quality of the production run will be top of the line, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them.

The Xvida Smartphone Mounting System is now live on Kickstarter, with some great perks so make sure to get in early to save some pennies!

 

iPhone Wireless Charging: Upcoming iPhones could be huge game-changers

iPhone Wireless Charging

Wall Street doomsday preppers pounding the table on the notion that “peak Apple” has come and gone may soon find themselves in an interesting predicament. There is little question that Apple’s meteoric iPhone sales growth will slow to a halt and even decline in 2016. Apple has already acknowledged as much when it reported results from its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Record-Breaking Quarter. But if you think growth is over at Apple, you have another think coming. And if you think Apple’s core iPhone business is on the brink of decline, you haven’t been paying attention at all.

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show certainly had some highlights, but it was during CES 2015 that I saw the future. A future where everything around us is connected. Of course, all of those connected devices need power and not everything is stationary, so one of the most exciting companies I saw at CES 2015 was a small startup called Energous.

Current-generation wireless charging solutions like Qi are nice. A smartphone equipped with the required hardware can simply be placed on a charging pad, or on anything with a built-in wireless charger, and its battery will begin to recharge. It’s more convenient than fussing with cables but it’s not quite as exciting as the technology that will refuel all of our devices in the future.

No, that technology will look much more like the product Energous has created.

Dubbed WattUp, Energous has built a two-part system that allows practically any type of device to be recharged wirelessly from distances of up to 15 feet. Anything that has integrated a tiny Energous receiver chip will be able to utilize this exciting technology, and the chip is so small that it won’t add any thickness to devices like smartphones, tablets, smartwatches or laptop computers.

Think about what that means. With an Energous transmitter in your office, your phone will constantly be charging even while it’s in your pocket as you sit at your desk and work. With a transmitter in your living room, your phone will charge while it sits on the couch beside you.

Now, here’s where things get interesting. There is a good amount of evidence out there to suggest that Energous has landed a major partner with which it will bring its technology to market, and that its partner is Apple. I won’t bother rehashing it all — Disruptive Tech Research analyst Louis Basenese did all the heavy lifting there.

If Apple has secured an exclusive deal with Energous to bring WattUp to future iPhones though, Apple’s upcoming smartphone lines are going to change the game more than you can even imagine. We’re talking about the biggest technological advancement in smartphones since Apple released the original iPhone in 2007 and brought touch-based mobile computing to the masses.

The implications for the user experience are obvious, though they’re made no less exciting by that fact. The immediate impact will remove the need to be proactive in charging your iPhone — it will just happen. And in the long term as the technology improves and proliferates, people won’t ever even have to think about charging their devices again.

But the implications for Apple’s bottom line should be just as compelling for investors. Think about what sales will be like if (when?) Apple is the first company to bring this technology to the masses. If you buy this new iPhone, you’ll never have to plug it in again.

And think about what this technology will do for Apple’s business. Forget the inevitable iPhone sales records, Apple will launch an entirely new business as a result of this technology. After all, when you buy one of these new iPhones you’re also going to need one, two, even five Apple transmitters capable of wirelessly charging your phone from across the room. One for the bedroom, one for the living room, one for the office, and so on.

The iPhone also won’t be the only Apple product that will be equipped with WattUp wireless charging, you can be sure of that.

Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 may not include Energous technology, but this isn’t some far off dream we’re talking about. In fact, a WattUp-equipped iPhone in the next year or two isn’t unthinkable at all; Energous has previously stated that WattUp technology could feasibly launch in commercial devices by late 2016 or early 2017.

Best iPhone 6S Wireless Charging Cases

Aircharge Wireless Charging Case

Aircharge Wireless Charging Case ($54)

Aircharge Wireless Charging Case

This case will make your iPhone 6 or 6S compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard. It’s a smart design with a hard white panel on the back with the Qi receiver, and a rounded, malleable black bumper that will protect your iPhone from bumps and drops. There’s a very large cut-out on the back which showcases the Apple logo and the camera, which also makes it easy to slot your iPhone in. The problem with all these cases is that they have to plug into the Lightning port, which blocks the port and adds a bulky section at the bottom. There’s an audio jack extension included for this reason, but you’ll have to remove the case to get at the Lightning port. The Aircharge is still one of the slimmest and lightest wireless charging cases we’ve seen, and it’s also certified by Apple.

Buy it now from:

MOBILE FUN

Dog & Bone Backbone Wireless Charging Case ($70)

Dog & Bone Backbone Wireless Charging Case 

Dog & Bone are known for their rugged and waterproof cases, so if you want something tough that also adds Qi wireless charging support, this is the one for you. It meets military standard 810F, so drops of up to 4 feet are no problem. It’s a rounded, chunky case with a tire tread texture on the back and a highlighted, slide-out section for charging that’s lined with blue, red, pink, or orange accents. It definitely adds some bulk, but all protective cases do. One thing we really like about this case is the inclusion of a Micro USB port, so if you ever do want to revert to wires, you don’t have to remove the case for charging. You get a charging pad in the pack, but you can also buy a separate 1,500 mAh battery for $60, which is interchangeable with the wireless charging section.

Buy it now from:

AMAZON

Incipio Ghost Qi Wireless Charging Battery Case ($100)

Incipio Ghost Qi Wireless Charging Battery CaseIf battery life is a problem for you in general, then Incipio has you covered with the Ghost case. This is a 2,100mAh battery case that should deliver around 80 percent more battery life for an iPhone 6 or 6S. The Ghost also supports Qi wireless charging, so you can pop it on any Qi pad to get the juice flowing. There’s a power button on the back with four LEDs to indicate remaining battery life, and Incipio included a Micro USB port in case you want to charge it up the old-fashioned way. It is quite bulky, but the matte sections at the top and bottom feature a shiny, brushed metallic effect that adds some style and helps safeguard your iPhone from damage.

Buy it now from:

AMAZON

Fone Salesman iQi Mobile ($19)

Fone Salesman iQi Mobile

Maybe you’ve already got a case that you love, but you’d still like to add wireless charging. The iQi Mobile accessory could work for you. It’s a flat tag with a flexible wire and a plug that slots into your Lightning port. The idea is that you slip the Qi receiver tag part into your case, and then insert the plug into your iPhone port to enable wireless charging. It’s not going to work with every case, but it should work fine with slim, flexible cases. We’re also uncertain about its longevity given the plug and ribbon feel pretty flimsy, but as a stop-gap to test out wireless charging on your iPhone, it’s worth a go.

Buy it now from:

AMAZON

Tango Wireless Charging Sleeve ($30)

Tango Wireless Charging Sleeve

This is an interesting two-piece case that enables you to easily slide in your iPhone 6 or 6S. The case comes in plain black and touts cut-outs for the camera and all of your buttons. With the case on, your iPhone can be charged via any Qi pad, but Tango does also offer its own Charger Pad($65), which also allows you to charge multiple devices at once. It can also charge your iPhone, no matter what angle you place it down at. The bottom section also includes a Micro USB port for charging with cables, along with an audio jack extension and grilles designed to redirect the speaker to the front. At the time of writing, the case and pad are available at a discount on Kickstarter, and the project has already surpassed its funding goal. It starts shipping in January 2016.

Order it now from:

POWER SQUARE KICKSTARTER

Bezalel Latitude Universal Charging Case ($50)

Bezalel Latitude Universal Charging CaseWhen Samsung adopted wireless charging in the latest Galaxy smartphones, it cut through the standard war by supporting both Qi and PMA standards, and that’s exactly what the Latitude case does for iPhone. Successfully funded on Kickstarter a couple of months ago, the Latitude case is fairly slim and curvy, comes in either black or white, and allows you to charge your iPhone using a Qi or PMA pad. It also leaves the bottom open, so there are no audio jack hassles, and you can easily slide the Lightning connector out, so you don’t need to remove the case if you decide that you want to charge or sync using your old Lightning cable. You can pre-order the device now, however, it likely won’t ship until February or March.

Order it now from:

BEZALEL

Patriot Fuel iON Case ($40)

Patriot Fuel iON Case

Our final option has been around for a while and it makes wirelessly charging your iPhone easy, mostly because it employs a magnetic system. The big drawback is the fact that the technology is proprietary, meaning you can’t use it with other Qi or PMA pads and you’ll have to buy Patriot’s base ($20) or pad ($25). The case is fairly slim, with cut-outs for the camera and buttons. The bottom section is bulky and features a slide in section for the Lightning port, but there is also an audio jack extension and a Micro USB port for charging. Because it’s magnetic, it’s easy to place your iPhone securely on the pad or dock.

Buy it now from:

AMAZON

Starbucks to expand wireless charging program.

Starbucks to expand wireless charging program

AllThingsD reports that Starbucks is expanding its experimental wireless charging program to the West Coast. The program will roll out at 10 stores in the San Jose area in August.

It introduced the program in a number Boston-area stores using Duracell Powermats, a PMA-standard wireless charging mat which allows those phones with compatible Duracell cases to simply rest it on the mat to receive power. The cases retail for about US$35 for the iPhone 4 and 4S and $50 for the iPhone 5, and AllThingsD adds that Starbucks and Duracell have been giving away sleeves to frequent customers.

AllThingsD draws attention to the competing standards for wireless charging technology, but Apple will most likely be another keen observer as the program unfolds in the San Jose area. It published a patent for wireless charging technology in November 2012, and experiments by third-party case makers with wireless charging stretch back to 2009. If anyone has the ability to standardize wireless charging, it’s Starbucks. If Apple develops a phone that does wireless charging in compliance with the PMA standard, combined with Starbucks’ program, it could go mainstream very quickly.

Source: TUAW.