- May 27, 2010
- Reaction score
- Austin, TX
The latest in a long line of more or less believable rumors regarding the new generation of the iPhone is that it will come fitted with wireless charging capabilities. If we look back at Apples activity, we find some truth to this rumor. The company has filed a patent application for Wireless Power Utilization in a Local Computing Environment, which was published in May of this year.
The patent application referred using a technology known as Near Field Magnetic Resonance (NFMR), which was developed by physics professor Marin Soljačić and his team at MIT during 2005-2007. NFMR works by using a power magnetic resonator to create a magnetic field around it. The charged equipment can then tune into the resonators frequency via a resonant circuit, which will in turn use the magnetic field detected to charge the device.
The usability of this technology has actually been tested on Apple devices live at the 2009 TED Conference, by Eric Giler, CEO of WiTricity, a company started by Prof. Soljačić to market the new technology. During the conference, Giler used a modified iPhone 4 to demonstrate the benefits of NFMR.
However, before choosing to go with NFMR, Apple did do their homework and their choice of wireless charging technology is not random.
There is another option, called induction charging, which is currently being used by Palms Touchstone charger. This technology however has some downsides, in that the device to be charged needs to be in direct contact with the charging unit, as suppose to NFMR which works even a distance. Also, the equipment used for induction charging generates radiated energy which is harmful to living beings, unlike the harmless magnetic fields generated by NFMR devices.
In other words, Apple once again has proved that they know what theyre doing. Also, if we take into considerations other rumors, according to which the new iPhone will have Wi-Fi syncing capabilities, that basically means that you will never have to plug your phone either to a power socket or your computer.
By Radu Tyrsina