January 29, 2016 4:17pm
Unfortunately for those who have dreams of charging their devices truly wirelessly, the current generation of cordless charging technology involves wires and an inductive charging mat.
Using an inductive charging mat, or magnetic charging cable with the Apple Watch, still requires physical contact between the device being charged and the charger, which remains wired. Magnetic induction at a distance of more than an inch or two has been in development for a very long time, but current versions of the technology still results in inefficient charging.
Apple has stated in the past that the company is not interested in releasing wireless-charging solutions that still require something to be plugged in. Yesterday, Bloomberg reported Apple is currently testing long-range induction charging solutions for the iPhone, and that the technology could make it into new phones as early as 2017.
Apple already owns several patents that could be used to implement this technology. In 2010, the company described a concept that involved using the iMac as a charging station, allowing any compatible device within one metre of the computer to be charged.
Another Apple patent from the end of 2015 describes a charging method that allows metal transparent radio signals to pass through the iPhone’s metallic casing. This allows wireless-power to charge a metallic phone safely without the radio waves getting blocked.
Wireless-charging still feels like it’s a long ways off, but if anybody can take a poorly thought out concept and find a way to make it work, it’s Apple.