Apple hasn’t adopted wireless charging the way other companies have, and perhaps now we know why. The firm applied for a patent that would allow an iPad to charge wirelessly via its smart cover. That means your smart cover may one day actually serve as a way to actually provide your iPad with extra juice.
AppleInsider noticed the patent application recently, which is called “Integrated inductive charging in protective cover.” We imagine that, without an actual battery inside the case, the cover will need to be plugged in to provide the power. That would be fine in a scenario where your iPad case serves as a stand; simply pop the iPad on the cover and charging can begin. One of the designs provided by Apple has its own battery for providing the extra juice, but that would definitely add bulk to the cover.
“In the described embodiments, the body portion includes an inductive power transmitter arranged to wirelessly pass power to a corresponding inductive power receiver unit disposed within the tablet device by inductively coupling, at least a first magnetic element, and at least a second magnetic element used to secure the body portion to the display in a closed configuration,” Apple explained in the patent.
This is just a patent, however, so it may never see the light of day. Still, we find it hard to believe that Apple will sit on the sidelines while its competitiors begin to offer wireless power solutions. The latest rumors suggest we’ll see the first products with wireless power tech from Apple in 2013.